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Sample records for albicans aspergillus fumigatus

  1. A patient with allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis caused by Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans.

    PubMed

    Wardhana; Datau, E A

    2012-10-01

    Allergic Bronchopulmonary Mycosis (ABPM) is an exagregated immunologic response to fungal colonization in the lower airways. It may cause by many kinds of fungal, but Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common cause of ABPM, although other Aspergillus and other fungal organisms, like Candida albicans, have been implicated. Aspergllus fumigatus and Candida albicans may be found as outdoor and indoor fungi, and cause the sensitization, elicitation of the disease pathology, and its clinical manifestations. Several diagnostic procedurs may be impicated to support the diagnosis of ABPM caused by Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans. A case of allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis caused by Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans in a 48 year old man was discussed. The patient was treated with antifungal, corticosteroids, and antibiotic for the secondary bacterial infection. The patient's condition is improved without any significant side effects. PMID:23314973

  2. Mixed Fungal Lung Infection with Aspergillus Fumigatus and Candida Albicans in a Immunocomprimised Patient: Case Report

    PubMed Central

    Vipparti, Haritha

    2014-01-01

    The frequency of invasive, opportunistic mycoses has increased significantly over the past 2 decades. In the immune-compromised host, many fungi, including species of fungi typically considered non-pathogenic, have the potential to cause serious morbidity and mortality. Here we report a rare case of mixed fungal infection of the lung with Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus in a patient on prolonged steroid therapy. PMID:24959447

  3. Antifungal Activity of Selenium Nanoparticles Synthesized by Bacillus species Msh-1 Against Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans

    PubMed Central

    Shakibaie, Mojtaba; Salari Mohazab, Naser; Ayatollahi Mousavi, Seyyed Amin

    2015-01-01

    Background: Fungal infections affect various parts of the body and can be difficult to treat. Aspergillus infection causes a spectrum of diverse diseases particularly in lung according to host immunity. The two major entities are invasive pulmonary aspergillosis and chronic pulmonary aspergillosis. Candida infections can be superficial or invasive. Superficial infections often affect the skin or mucous membranes. However, invasive fungal infections are often life-threatening. Advances in nanotechnology have opened new horizons in nanomedicine, allowing the synthesis of nanoparticles that can be assembled into complex architectures. Novel studies and technologies are devoted to understanding the mechanisms of disease for the design of new drugs. Objectives: In the present study, the antifungal activity of biogenic selenium nanoparticles (Se NPs) against Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans was investigated. Materials and Methods: Se-reducing bacteria previously identified as Bacillus sp. MSh-1 were used for the intracellular biosynthesis of elemental Se NPs. The shape, size, and purity of the extracted NPs were determined with various instrumental techniques. The nanoparticles antifungal characterization mainly derives from the following pathways: (i) to generate sustained flux of nano-ions from the compounds that deposited on special substrates or imbedded in colloidal or semisolid matrices. (ii) To transport active those ions to sensitive targets on plasma membrane of fungi. Results: The results of energy-dispersive X-ray demonstrated that the purified NPs consisted of only Se. In addition, transmission electron micrographs showed that 120- to 140-nm spherical Se NPs were the most common. An antifungal assay was performed with a standard Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute broth microdilution method. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) measurements of the antifungal activity of the Se NPs against C. albicans (70 μg/mL) and A. fumigatus (100

  4. Metabolomics of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Frisvad, Jens C; Rank, Christian; Nielsen, Kristian F; Larsen, Thomas O

    2009-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important species in Aspergillus causing infective lung diseases. This species has been reported to produce a large number of extrolites, including secondary metabolites, acids, and proteins such as hydrophobins and extracellular enzymes. At least 226 potentially bioactive secondary metabolites have been reported from A. fumigatus that can be ordered into 24 biosynthetic families. Of these families we have detected representatives from the following families of secondary metabolites: fumigatins, fumigaclavines, fumiquinazolines, trypacidin and monomethylsulochrin, fumagillins, gliotoxins, pseurotins, chloroanthraquinones, fumitremorgins, verruculogen, helvolic acids, and pyripyropenes by HPLC with diode array detection and mass spectrometric detection. There is still doubt whether A. fumigatus can produce tryptoquivalins, but all isolates produce the related fumiquinazolines. We also tentatively detected sphingofungins in A. fumigatus Af293 and in an isolate of A. lentulus. The sphingofungins may have a similar role as the toxic fumonisins, found in A. niger. A further number of mycotoxins, including ochratoxin A, and other secondary metabolites have been reported from A. fumigatus, but in those cases either the fungus or its metabolite appear to be misidentified. PMID:18763205

  5. Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillosis

    PubMed Central

    Latgé, Jean-Paul

    1999-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most ubiquitous of the airborne saprophytic fungi. Humans and animals constantly inhale numerous conidia of this fungus. The conidia are normally eliminated in the immunocompetent host by innate immune mechanisms, and aspergilloma and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, uncommon clinical syndromes, are the only infections observed in such hosts. Thus, A. fumigatus was considered for years to be a weak pathogen. With increases in the number of immunosuppressed patients, however, there has been a dramatic increase in severe and usually fatal invasive aspergillosis, now the most common mold infection worldwide. In this review, the focus is on the biology of A. fumigatus and the diseases it causes. Included are discussions of (i) genomic and molecular characterization of the organism, (ii) clinical and laboratory methods available for the diagnosis of aspergillosis in immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts, (iii) identification of host and fungal factors that play a role in the establishment of the fungus in vivo, and (iv) problems associated with antifungal therapy. PMID:10194462

  6. Krüppel-like Factor 4 modulates interleukin-6 release in human dendritic cells after in vitro stimulation with Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans

    PubMed Central

    Czakai, Kristin; Leonhardt, Ines; Dix, Andreas; Bonin, Michael; Linde, Joerg; Einsele, Hermann; Kurzai, Oliver; Loeffler, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    Invasive fungal infections are associated with high mortality rates and are mostly caused by the opportunistic fungi Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans. Immune responses against these fungi are still not fully understood. Dendritic cells (DCs) are crucial players in initiating innate and adaptive immune responses against fungal infections. The immunomodulatory effects of fungi were compared to the bacterial stimulus LPS to determine key players in the immune response to fungal infections. A genome wide study of the gene regulation of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) confronted with A. fumigatus, C. albicans or LPS was performed and Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) was identified as the only transcription factor that was down-regulated in DCs by both fungi but induced by stimulation with LPS. Downstream analysis demonstrated the influence of KLF4 on the interleukine-6 expression in human DCs. Furthermore, KLF4 regulation was shown to be dependent on pattern recognition receptor ligation. Therefore KLF4 was identified as a controlling element in the IL-6 immune response with a unique expression pattern comparing fungal and LPS stimulation. PMID:27346433

  7. Evaluation of peptone glucose fluconazole agar as a selective medium for rapid and enhanced isolation of Aspergillus fumigatus from the respiratory tract of bronchopulmonary aspergillosis patients colonized by Candida albicans.

    PubMed

    Randhawa, H S; Chowdhary, Anuradha; Preeti Sinha, K; Kowshik, T; Vijayan, V K

    2006-06-01

    We have reported earlier that Aspergillus fumigatus is inhibited in vitro by Candida albicans which also interferes in its isolation from sputum experimentally seeded with predetermined graded inocula of the two fungi. It was further shown that this interference was neutralized by employing peptone glucose agar with incorporation of fluconazole which is more inhibitory to C. albicans than to A. fumigatus. This communication embodies the results of evaluation of peptone glucose fluconazole agar (PGFA) as a selective culture medium for rapid and enhanced isolation of A. fumigatus from sputum of patients clinically suspected of aspergillosis with C. albicans colonization in the respiratory tract. Of the 23 sputum specimens and one broncho-alveolar lavage collected from 15 suspected aspergillosis patients, A. fumigatus was isolated from all (100%) on PGFA as against only 19 specimens (79%) that proved to be positive on the control PGA medium (P<0.05). The greater efficacy of PGFA than that of PGA was further evident from the 2-fold higher A. fumigatus mean colony count (8.2+/-1.87) on the former medium than on the latter (3.7+/-1.00), and this difference was found to be statistically significant (P<0.05). Besides, A. fumigatus colonies were macroscopically recognizable within 2-3 days on PGFA at 28 degrees C in strong contrast to 5-7 days required on PGA. Based upon these observations, PGFA is recommended for wider application as a selective medium for rapid and enhanced recovery of A. fumigatus from sputum of patients clinically suspected of aspergillosis with C. albicans colonization in their respiratory tract.

  8. The Volatome of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Calvo, A. M.; Latgé, J. P.

    2014-01-01

    Early detection of invasive aspergillosis is absolutely required for efficient therapy of this fungal infection. The identification of fungal volatiles in patient breath can be an alternative for the detection of Aspergillus fumigatus that still remains problematic. In this work, we investigated the production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by A. fumigatus in vitro, and we show that volatile production depends on the nutritional environment. A. fumigatus produces a multiplicity of VOCs, predominantly terpenes and related compounds. The production of sesquiterpenoid compounds was found to be strongly induced by increased iron concentrations and certain drugs, i.e., pravastatin. Terpenes that were always detectable in large amounts were α-pinene, camphene, and limonene, as well as sesquiterpenes, identified as α-bergamotene and β-trans-bergamotene. Other substance classes that were found to be present in the volatome, such as 1-octen-3-ol, 3-octanone, and pyrazines, were found only under specific growth conditions. Drugs that interfere with the terpene biosynthesis pathway influenced the composition of the fungal volatome, and most notably, a block of sesquiterpene biosynthesis by the bisphosphonate alendronate fundamentally changed the VOC composition. Using deletion mutants, we also show that a terpene cyclase and a putative kaurene synthase are essential for the synthesis of volatile terpenes by A. fumigatus. The present analysis of in vitro volatile production by A. fumigatus suggests that VOCs may be used in the diagnosis of infections caused by this fungus. PMID:24906414

  9. Developmental regulators in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Park, Hee-Soo; Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    2016-03-01

    The filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus is the most prevalent airborne fungal pathogen causing severe and usually fatal invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised patients. This fungus produces a large number of small hydrophobic asexual spores called conidia as the primary means of reproduction, cell survival, propagation, and infectivity. The initiation, progression, and completion of asexual development (conidiation) is controlled by various regulators that govern expression of thousands of genes associated with formation of the asexual developmental structure conidiophore, and biogenesis of conidia. In this review, we summarize key regulators that directly or indirectly govern conidiation in this important pathogenic fungus. Better understanding these developmental regulators may provide insights into the improvement in controlling both beneficial and detrimental aspects of various Aspergillus species.

  10. Developmental regulators in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Park, Hee-Soo; Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    2016-03-01

    The filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus is the most prevalent airborne fungal pathogen causing severe and usually fatal invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised patients. This fungus produces a large number of small hydrophobic asexual spores called conidia as the primary means of reproduction, cell survival, propagation, and infectivity. The initiation, progression, and completion of asexual development (conidiation) is controlled by various regulators that govern expression of thousands of genes associated with formation of the asexual developmental structure conidiophore, and biogenesis of conidia. In this review, we summarize key regulators that directly or indirectly govern conidiation in this important pathogenic fungus. Better understanding these developmental regulators may provide insights into the improvement in controlling both beneficial and detrimental aspects of various Aspergillus species. PMID:26920882

  11. Conidial Hydrophobins of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Paris, Sophie; Debeaupuis, Jean-Paul; Crameri, Reto; Carey, Marilyn; Charlès, Franck; Prévost, Marie Christine; Schmitt, Christine; Philippe, Bruno; Latgé, Jean Paul

    2003-01-01

    The surface of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia, the first structure recognized by the host immune system, is covered by rodlets. We report that this outer cell wall layer contains two hydrophobins, RodAp and RodBp, which are found as highly insoluble complexes. The RODA gene was previously characterized, and ΔrodA conidia do not display a rodlet layer (N. Thau, M. Monod, B. Crestani, C. Rolland, G. Tronchin, J. P. Latgé, and S. Paris, Infect. Immun. 62:4380-4388, 1994). The RODB gene was cloned and disrupted. RodBp was highly homologous to RodAp and different from DewAp of A. nidulans. ΔrodB conidia had a rodlet layer similar to that of the wild-type conidia. Therefore, unlike RodAp, RodBp is not required for rodlet formation. The surface of ΔrodA conidia is granular; in contrast, an amorphous layer is present at the surface of the conidia of the ΔrodA ΔrodB double mutant. These data show that RodBp plays a role in the structure of the conidial cell wall. Moreover, rodletless mutants are more sensitive to killing by alveolar macrophages, suggesting that RodAp or the rodlet structure is involved in the resistance to host cells. PMID:12620846

  12. Conidial hydrophobins of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Paris, Sophie; Debeaupuis, Jean-Paul; Crameri, Reto; Carey, Marilyn; Charlès, Franck; Prévost, Marie Christine; Schmitt, Christine; Philippe, Bruno; Latgé, Jean Paul

    2003-03-01

    The surface of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia, the first structure recognized by the host immune system, is covered by rodlets. We report that this outer cell wall layer contains two hydrophobins, RodAp and RodBp, which are found as highly insoluble complexes. The RODA gene was previously characterized, and DeltarodA conidia do not display a rodlet layer (N. Thau, M. Monod, B. Crestani, C. Rolland, G. Tronchin, J. P. Latgé, and S. Paris, Infect. Immun. 62:4380-4388, 1994). The RODB gene was cloned and disrupted. RodBp was highly homologous to RodAp and different from DewAp of A. nidulans. DeltarodB conidia had a rodlet layer similar to that of the wild-type conidia. Therefore, unlike RodAp, RodBp is not required for rodlet formation. The surface of DeltarodA conidia is granular; in contrast, an amorphous layer is present at the surface of the conidia of the DeltarodA DeltarodB double mutant. These data show that RodBp plays a role in the structure of the conidial cell wall. Moreover, rodletless mutants are more sensitive to killing by alveolar macrophages, suggesting that RodAp or the rodlet structure is involved in the resistance to host cells.

  13. Pathogenesis of Aspergillus fumigatus in Invasive Aspergillosis

    PubMed Central

    Dagenais, Taylor R. T.; Keller, Nancy P.

    2009-01-01

    Summary: Aspergillus species are globally ubiquitous saprophytes found in a variety of ecological niches. Almost 200 species of aspergilli have been identified, less than 20 of which are known to cause human disease. Among them, Aspergillus fumigatus is the most prevalent and is largely responsible for the increased incidence of invasive aspergillosis (IA) in the immunocompromised patient population. IA is a devastating illness, with mortality rates in some patient groups reaching as high as 90%. Studies identifying and assessing the roles of specific factors of A. fumigatus that contribute to the pathogenesis of IA have traditionally focused on single-gene deletion and mutant characterization. In combination with recent large-scale approaches analyzing global fungal responses to distinct environmental or host conditions, these studies have identified many factors that contribute to the overall pathogenic potential of A. fumigatus. Here, we provide an overview of the significant findings regarding A. fumigatus pathogenesis as it pertains to invasive disease. PMID:19597008

  14. Empyema necessitatis due to Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyun Woo; Kim, Yeon Wook; Cho, Jaeyoung; Lee, Chang-Hoon

    2014-01-01

    We present an extremely rare case of empyema necessitatis secondary to Aspergillus fumigatus infection. A 58-year-old woman presented to our hospital with a painful skin rash on the right thorax. Three fistulas communicating with the pleural space were found. Since she did not show a clinical improvement despite antituberculous and antibacterial treatment, we looked for other causes. Pleural fungus culture showed A. fumigatus and chest wall biopsy revealed numerous fungal hyphae. Treatment with necrotic tissue debridement and antifungal agents was successful. PMID:25452298

  15. Azole Drug Import into the Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Esquivel, Brooke D.; Smith, Adam R.; Zavrel, Martin

    2015-01-01

    The fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus causes serious illness and often death when it invades tissues, especially in immunocompromised individuals. The azole class of drugs is the most commonly prescribed treatment for many fungal infections and acts on the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway. One common mechanism of acquired azole drug resistance in fungi is the prevention of drug accumulation to toxic levels in the cell. While drug efflux is a well-known resistance strategy, reduced azole import would be another strategy to maintain low intracellular azole levels. Recently, azole uptake in Candida albicans and other yeasts was analyzed using [3H]fluconazole. Defective drug import was suggested to be a potential mechanism of drug resistance in several pathogenic fungi, including Cryptococcus neoformans, Candida krusei, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We have adapted and developed an assay to measure azole accumulation in A. fumigatus using radioactively labeled azole drugs, based on previous work done with C. albicans. We used this assay to study the differences in azole uptake in A. fumigatus isolates under a variety of drug treatment conditions, with different morphologies and with a select mutant strain with deficiencies in the sterol uptake and biosynthesis pathway. We conclude that azole drugs are specifically selected and imported into the fungal cell by a pH- and ATP-independent facilitated diffusion mechanism, not by passive diffusion. This method of drug transport is likely to be conserved across most fungal species. PMID:25824209

  16. Infection of the pleura by Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Krakówka, Paweł; Rowińska, Ewa; Halweg, Halina

    1970-01-01

    Pleural aspergillosis occurs mostly in established cases of pleural empyema with a broncho-pleural fistula. Ten such patients are reported here: in all, Aspergillus fumigatus infection was related to tuberculosis. In three cases with an active, sputum-positive tuberculous process the pleural empyema was a complication of spontaneous pneumothorax in two, and of lung resection in one. In two cases the empyema occurred as a complication of tuberculous pleuritis, but A. fumigatus infection was noted only after the sputum had become negative for tubercle bacilli. In five patients with inactive tuberculosis, the empyema was a late complication of pneumothorax therapy. The diagnosis of pleural aspergillosis is made on the basis of microscopical examination and culture of A. fumigatus in the pleural pus. The cultures were positive in seven of the 10 cases presented. In two cases in which the culture was negative microscopical examination of the pus revealed the presence of numerous fungal hyphae which was evidence of fungal necrosis. In one case the diagnosis was not made until necropsy. Serum precipitin tests with filtrates of A. fumigatus are further valuable evidence of aspergillous infection. Of 10 presented patients, this test was positive in all seven cases in which it was done. The treatment of pleural aspergillosis by local instillation of nystatin or amphotericin B was effective in six out of seven cases in which it was used. Images PMID:5441996

  17. Fatal coinfection with Legionella pneumophila serogroup 8 and Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Guillouzouic, Aurélie; Bemer, Pascale; Gay-Andrieu, Françoise; Bretonnière, Cédric; Lepelletier, Didier; Mahé, Pierre-Joachim; Villers, Daniel; Jarraud, Sophie; Reynaud, Alain; Corvec, Stéphane

    2008-02-01

    Legionella pneumophila is an important cause of community-acquired and nosocomial pneumonia. We report on a patient who simultaneously developed L. pneumophila serogroup 8 pneumonia and Aspergillus fumigatus lung abscesses. Despite appropriate treatments, Aspergillus disease progressed with metastasis. Coinfections caused by L. pneumophila and A. fumigatus remain exceptional. In apparently immunocompetent patients, corticosteroid therapy is a key risk factor for aspergillosis.

  18. Fatal coinfection with Legionella pneumophila serogroup 8 and Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Guillouzouic, Aurélie; Bemer, Pascale; Gay-Andrieu, Françoise; Bretonnière, Cédric; Lepelletier, Didier; Mahé, Pierre-Joachim; Villers, Daniel; Jarraud, Sophie; Reynaud, Alain; Corvec, Stéphane

    2008-02-01

    Legionella pneumophila is an important cause of community-acquired and nosocomial pneumonia. We report on a patient who simultaneously developed L. pneumophila serogroup 8 pneumonia and Aspergillus fumigatus lung abscesses. Despite appropriate treatments, Aspergillus disease progressed with metastasis. Coinfections caused by L. pneumophila and A. fumigatus remain exceptional. In apparently immunocompetent patients, corticosteroid therapy is a key risk factor for aspergillosis. PMID:17945454

  19. Mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus fumigatus isolated from silage.

    PubMed

    Cole, R J; Kirksey, J W; Dorner, J W; Wilson, D M; Johnson, J; Bedell, D; Springer, J P; Chexal, K K; Clardy, J; Cox, R H

    1977-01-01

    Results are presented which show that Aspergillus fumigatus was one of the predominant fungi contaminating moldy silage. Growth of A. fumigatus on silage appeared to depend on a preliminary aerobic fermentation by other natural microflora in silage. The clavine alkaloid, fumigaclavine A, and a new clavine alkaloid designated fumigaclavine C were produced by A. fumigatus. The LD50 of fumigaclavine C was approximately 150 mg/kg oral dose in day-old cockerels. PMID:350117

  20. Internalization of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia by epithelial and endothelial cells.

    PubMed Central

    Paris, S; Boisvieux-Ulrich, E; Crestani, B; Houcine, O; Taramelli, D; Lombardi, L; Latgé, J P

    1997-01-01

    The internalization of conidia of the opportunistic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus by primary cell cultures of nonprofessional phagocytes was investigated. This study is the first to show that A. fumigatus conidia were able to be engulfed by tracheal epithelial, alveolar type II, and endothelial cells. PMID:9119494

  1. Degradation of melanin by Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed Central

    Luther, J P; Lipke, H

    1980-01-01

    A strain of Aspergillus fumigatus from composted coffee and garden wastes utilized natural deproteinized insect, banana, hair, octopus, and synthetic tyrosine and dopa melanins as sole sources of carbon. With a sucrose supplement, degradation was essentially complete after 50 days in Czapek medium pH 6.5 at 30 degrees C. The catabolic rate differed for each substrate pigment, as did the molecular weight distribution of products accumulating in the medium. After incubation with L-[U-14C]melanin, over 50% was recovered in a dark fungal pigment, the remainder appearing as cell protein, chitin, lipid, CO2, and polar metabolites. When grown on melanin, the normally pale mycelia darkened with the production of a fungal allomelanin, with infrared spectrum and alkali fusion products differing from those of the substrate pigment. Isotope distribution in amino acids for A. fumigatus grown on labeled melanin supplemented with sucrose suggested separate pools for synthesis of cell proteins and melanoproteins. Deposition of allomelanin increased resistance of conidia, sterigma, and conidiophores to lytic carbohydrases as judged by scanning electron microscopy. Images PMID:6996615

  2. Genomic Islands in Pathogenic Filamentous Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We present the genome sequences of a new clinical isolate, CEA10, of an important human pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus, and two closely related, but rarely pathogenic species, Neosartorya fischeri NRRL181 and Aspergillus clavatus NRRL1. Comparative genomic analysis of CEA10 with the recently sequen...

  3. A new species of Aspergillus fumigatus group and comments upon its synonymy.

    PubMed

    Varshney, J L; Sarbhoy, A K

    1981-02-13

    Aspergillus fumigatus Fries, acolumnaris Rai et al. (1) has been raised to a distinct epithet and four different varieties of A. fumigatus (1--2 & 6) viz. A. fumigatus Fries. var. albus Rai et al., A. fumigatus Fries. var. grisei-brunneus Rai and Singh, A. fumigatus Fries. mut. helvola Yuill and A. fumigatus Fries. var. sclerotiorum Rai et al. which were recognised by earlier workers, have also been merged into A. fumigatus.

  4. Fitness Studies of Azole-Resistant Strains of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Valsecchi, Isabel; Mellado, Emilia; Beau, Rémi; Raj, Shriya

    2015-01-01

    Isogenic bar-coded strains of Aspergillus fumigatus carrying the G54W or M220K mutation in Cyp51A were constructed. In vitro, the growth and conidiation capacities of the mutants were similar to those of the parental strain. Competition studies in the absence of azoles showed that there was no adverse fitness cost for the azole-resistant A. fumigatus strains in vitro or in vivo compared to the parental strain. PMID:26416854

  5. Aspergillus fumigatus-Related Species in Clinical Practice

    PubMed Central

    Lamoth, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the main etiologic agent of invasive aspergillosis (IA). Other Aspergillus species belonging to the section Fumigati (A. fumigatus complex) may occasionally be the cause of IA. These strains are often misidentified, as they cannot be distinguished from A. fumigatus by conventional morphological analysis and sequencing methods. This lack of recognition may have important consequences as these A. fumigatus-related species often display some level of intrinsic resistance to azoles and other antifungal drugs. A. lentulus, A. udagawae, A. viridinutans, and A. thermomutatus (Neosartorya pseudofischeri) have been associated with refractory cases of IA. Microbiologists should be able to suspect the presence of these cryptic species behind a putative A. fumigatus isolate on the basis of some simple characteristics, such as defect in sporulation and/or unusual antifungal susceptibility profile. However, definitive species identification requires specific sequencing analyses of the beta-tubulin or calmodulin genes, which are not available in most laboratories. Multiplex PCR assays or matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization – time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) gave promising results for rapid and accurate distinction between A. fumigatus and other Aspergillus spp. of the section Fumigati in clinical practice. Improved diagnostic procedures and antifungal susceptibility testing may be helpful for the early detection and management of these particular IA cases. PMID:27242710

  6. Aspergillus fumigatus Intrinsic Fluconazole Resistance Is Due to the Naturally Occurring T301I Substitution in Cyp51Ap.

    PubMed

    Leonardelli, Florencia; Macedo, Daiana; Dudiuk, Catiana; Cabeza, Matias S; Gamarra, Soledad; Garcia-Effron, Guillermo

    2016-09-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus intrinsic fluconazole resistance has been demonstrated to be linked to the CYP51A gene, although the precise molecular mechanism has not been elucidated yet. Comparisons between A. fumigatus Cyp51Ap and Candida albicans Erg11p sequences showed differences in amino acid residues already associated with fluconazole resistance in C. albicans The aim of this study was to analyze the role of the natural polymorphism I301 in Aspergillus fumigatus Cyp51Ap in the intrinsic fluconazole resistance phenotype of this pathogen. The I301 residue in A. fumigatus Cyp51Ap was replaced with a threonine (analogue to T315 at Candida albicans fluconazole-susceptible Erg11p) by changing one single nucleotide in the CYP51A gene. Also, a CYP51A knockout strain was obtained using the same parental strain. Both mutants' antifungal susceptibilities were tested. The I301T mutant exhibited a lower level of resistance to fluconazole (MIC, 20 μg/ml) than the parental strain (MIC, 640 μg/ml), while no changes in MIC were observed for other azole- and non-azole-based drugs. These data strongly implicate the A. fumigatus Cyp51Ap I301 residue in the intrinsic resistance to fluconazole.

  7. Multi-triazole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus infections in Australia.

    PubMed

    Kidd, Sarah E; Goeman, Emma; Meis, Jacques F; Slavin, Monica A; Verweij, Paul E

    2015-06-01

    The emergence of triazole resistance, including multi-triazole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus is being reported around the world, but there has been little evidence of this problem to date in Australia. Here we describe a retrospective search of antifungal susceptibility results of all Australian clinical A. fumigatus isolates referred to the National Mycology Reference Centre, Adelaide, Australia between 2000 and 2013, yielding 13 isolates with elevated minimum inhibitory concentrations to itraconazole, posaconazole and/or voriconazole. Four isolates were found to be Aspergillus lentulus, a closely related, morphologically similar species known to have reduced susceptibility to triazoles. Analysis of the cyp51A gene of nine confirmed A. fumigatus isolates revealed two carrying the TR34 /L98H mutation, one apparently locally acquired in 2004, and the other probably acquired abroad in 2012. Four isolates possessed the G54R, F46Y, Y431S and G448S mutations, respectively, whereas three isolates did not possess known cyp51A resistance mutations, raising the possibility of other, undetected resistance mechanisms. Routine antifungal susceptibility testing is definitively recommended in patients on long term and sub-therapeutic triazole therapy with breakthrough Aspergillus infection and recommended for all clinically relevant A. fumigatus isolates. PMID:25885568

  8. Isolation and toxigenicity of Aspergillus fumigatus from moldy silage.

    PubMed

    dos Santos, Valentina Melo; Dorner, Joe W; Carreira, Fátima

    2003-01-01

    Thirty-nine silage samples were collected from various silos on Terceira Island in the Azores. Samples were examined for the presence of total fungi, and isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus were analyzed for their ability to produce fumitremorgens B and C, fumigaclavines B and C, and gliotoxin. Thirty-four silage samples (87%) were contaminated with fungi, and A. fumigatus was isolated from 27 samples (69%). Samples that were taken from the surface of silos had significantly higher populations of both total fungi and A. fumigatus than did samples taken from the middle of silos. Analysis of 27 A. fumigatus isolates (one representing each positive sample) showed that 59.3% produced fumitremorgen B; 33.3% produced fumitremorgen C; 29.6% produced fumigaclavine B; 7.4% produced fumigaclavine C; and 11.1% produced gliotoxin. Fifty-two percent of the isolates produced multiple toxins, and 25.9% did not produce any of these toxins. Gliotoxin and fumigaclavine C were always produced in combination with other toxins. Because of the demonstrated potential of these A. fumigatus isolates to produce mycotoxins, it is important to properly construct and manage silos to prevent their contamination with A. fumigatus. PMID:12733634

  9. Biodegradation of phenol by Antarctic strains of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Gerginova, Maria; Manasiev, Jordan; Yemendzhiev, Husein; Terziyska, Anna; Peneva, Nadejda; Alexieva, Zlatka

    2013-01-01

    Taxonomic identification of three newly isolated Antarctic fungal strains by their 18S rDNA sequences revealed their affiliation with Aspergillus fumigatus. Phenol (0.5 g/l) as the sole carbon source was completely degraded by all strains within less than two weeks. Intracellular activities of three key enzymes involved in the phenol catabolism were determined. Activities of phenol hydroxylase (EC 1.14.13.7), hydroquinone hydroxylase (EC 1.14.13.x), and catechol 1,2-dioxygenase (EC 1.13.11.1) varied significantly between strains. The rates of phenol degradation in the three strains correlated best with the activity of catechol 1,2-dioxygenase. Six pairs of oligonucleotide primers were designed on the basis of the Aspergillus fumigatus Af293 genome sequence (NCBI Acc. No. XM_743491.1) and used to amplify phenol hydroxylase-related gene sequences. DNA sequences of about 1200 bp were amplified from all three strains and found to have a high degree of sequence identity with the corresponding gene of Aspergillus fumigatus Af293.

  10. Does farm fungicide use induce azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus?

    PubMed

    Kano, Rui; Kohata, Erina; Tateishi, Akira; Murayama, Somay Yamagata; Hirose, Dai; Shibata, Yasuko; Kosuge, Yasuhiro; Inoue, Hiroaki; Kamata, Hiroshi; Hasegawa, Atsuhiko

    2015-02-01

    Azole resistance of Aspergillus fumigatus isolates has been reported worldwide and it would appear to be mainly due to a point mutation in the 14α-sterol demethylase (CYP51A) gene, which is the target enzyme for azoles. The mutation has been confirmed in isolates from patients who received long-term itraconazole (ITZ) therapy and from agricultural fields where high levels of azole fungicides were employed. However, the relationship between farm environments and azole-resistant A. fumigatus has not been fully studied. In this investigation, 50 isolates of A. fumigatus were obtained from a farm where tetraconazole has been sprayed twice a year for more than 15 years. The mean minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of isolates was 0.74 (0.19-1.5) mg/L against ITZ, which was below the medical resistance level of ITZ. The sequence of CYP51A from isolates indicated no gene mutations in isolates from the farm. Antifungal susceptibility of isolates to tetraconazole showed that spraying with tetraconazole did not induce resistance to tetraconazole or ITZ in A. fumigatus.

  11. Fungal siderophore metabolism with a focus on Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Haas, Hubertus

    2014-10-01

    Siderophores are chelators synthesized by microbes to sequester iron. This article summarizes the knowledge on the fungal siderophore metabolism with a focus on Aspergillus fumigatus. In recent years, A. fumigatus became a role model for fungal biosynthesis, uptake and degradation of siderophores as well as regulation of siderophore-mediated iron handling and the elucidation of siderophore functions. Siderophore functions comprise uptake, intracellular transport and storage of iron. This proved to be crucial not only for adaptation to iron starvation conditions but also for germination, asexual and sexual propagation, antioxidative defense, mutual interaction, microbial competition as well as virulence in plant and animal hosts. Recent studies also indicate the high potential of siderophores and its biosynthetic pathway to improve diagnosis and therapy of fungal infections.

  12. On the way toward systems biology of Aspergillus fumigatus infection.

    PubMed

    Albrecht, Daniela; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Mech, Franziska; Gunzer, Matthias; Brakhage, Axel; Guthke, Reinhard

    2011-06-01

    Pathogenicity of Aspergillus fumigatus is multifactorial. Thus, global studies are essential for the understanding of the infection process. Therefore, a data warehouse was established where genome sequence, transcriptome and proteome data are stored. These data are analyzed for the elucidation of virulence determinants. The data analysis workflow starts with pre-processing including imputing of missing values and normalization. Last step is the identification of differentially expressed genes/proteins as interesting candidates for further analysis, in particular for functional categorization and correlation studies. Sequence data and other prior knowledge extracted from databases are integrated to support the inference of gene regulatory networks associated with pathogenicity. This knowledge-assisted data analysis aims at establishing mathematical models with predictive strength to assist further experimental work. Recently, first steps were done to extend the integrative data analysis and computational modeling by evaluating spatio-temporal data (movies) that monitor interactions of A. fumigatus morphotypes (e.g. conidia) with host immune cells.

  13. Fungal siderophore metabolism with a focus on Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Covering: up to 2014 Siderophores are chelators synthesized by microbes to sequester iron. This article summarizes the knowledge on the fungal siderophore metabolism with a focus on Aspergillus fumigatus. In recent years, A. fumigatus became a role model for fungal biosynthesis, uptake and degradation of siderophores as well as regulation of siderophore-mediated iron handling and the elucidation of siderophore functions. Siderophore functions comprise uptake, intracellular transport and storage of iron. This proved to be crucial not only for adaptation to iron starvation conditions but also for germination, asexual and sexual propagation, antioxidative defense, mutual interaction, microbial competition as well as virulence in plant and animal hosts. Recent studies also indicate the high potential of siderophores and its biosynthetic pathway to improve diagnosis and therapy of fungal infections. PMID:25140791

  14. Genomic Islands in the Pathogenic Filamentous Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Fedorova, Natalie D.; Khaldi, Nora; Joardar, Vinita S.; Maiti, Rama; Amedeo, Paolo; Anderson, Michael J.; Crabtree, Jonathan; Silva, Joana C.; Badger, Jonathan H.; Albarraq, Ahmed; Angiuoli, Sam; Bussey, Howard; Bowyer, Paul; Cotty, Peter J.; Dyer, Paul S.; Egan, Amy; Galens, Kevin; Fraser-Liggett, Claire M.; Haas, Brian J.; Inman, Jason M.; Kent, Richard; Lemieux, Sebastien; Malavazi, Iran; Orvis, Joshua; Roemer, Terry; Ronning, Catherine M.; Sundaram, Jaideep P.; Sutton, Granger; Turner, Geoff; Venter, J. Craig; White, Owen R.; Whitty, Brett R.; Youngman, Phil; Wolfe, Kenneth H.; Goldman, Gustavo H.; Wortman, Jennifer R.; Jiang, Bo; Denning, David W.; Nierman, William C.

    2008-01-01

    We present the genome sequences of a new clinical isolate of the important human pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus, A1163, and two closely related but rarely pathogenic species, Neosartorya fischeri NRRL181 and Aspergillus clavatus NRRL1. Comparative genomic analysis of A1163 with the recently sequenced A. fumigatus isolate Af293 has identified core, variable and up to 2% unique genes in each genome. While the core genes are 99.8% identical at the nucleotide level, identity for variable genes can be as low 40%. The most divergent loci appear to contain heterokaryon incompatibility (het) genes associated with fungal programmed cell death such as developmental regulator rosA. Cross-species comparison has revealed that 8.5%, 13.5% and 12.6%, respectively, of A. fumigatus, N. fischeri and A. clavatus genes are species-specific. These genes are significantly smaller in size than core genes, contain fewer exons and exhibit a subtelomeric bias. Most of them cluster together in 13 chromosomal islands, which are enriched for pseudogenes, transposons and other repetitive elements. At least 20% of A. fumigatus-specific genes appear to be functional and involved in carbohydrate and chitin catabolism, transport, detoxification, secondary metabolism and other functions that may facilitate the adaptation to heterogeneous environments such as soil or a mammalian host. Contrary to what was suggested previously, their origin cannot be attributed to horizontal gene transfer (HGT), but instead is likely to involve duplication, diversification and differential gene loss (DDL). The role of duplication in the origin of lineage-specific genes is further underlined by the discovery of genomic islands that seem to function as designated “gene dumps” and, perhaps, simultaneously, as “gene factories”. PMID:18404212

  15. Aspergillus fumigatus Endophthalmitis with Necrotizing Scleritis following Pars Plana Vitrectomy.

    PubMed

    Gruener, Anna M; Allen, Felicity; Stanford, Miles R; Graham, Elizabeth M

    2016-01-01

    We present a case of Aspergillus fumigatus endophthalmitis complicated by necrotizing scleritis in a 68-year-old man with diet-controlled diabetes, after retinal detachment repair. He was initially treated with systemic steroids for surgically induced necrotizing scleritis following routine pars plana vitrectomy. An additional diagnosis of endophthalmitis was made when the patient developed a hypopyon. Repeat vitreous culture isolated Aspergillus fumigatus. Symptoms improved following antifungal treatment leaving the patient with scleromalacia and an advanced postoperative cataract. Fungal scleritis and endophthalmitis are rare complications of intraocular surgery with sight-threatening consequences, and, as this case demonstrates, may even occur concomitantly. The overlapping features of both conditions can make differentiating one from the other difficult. A fungal aetiology should be considered in cases of postoperative scleritis and endophthalmitis that are protracted and refractory to standard therapy. Even in cases of early diagnosis and treatment, visual outcomes in Aspergillus endophthalmitis and scleritis are variable and often disappointing, not infrequently necessitating enucleation of a painful blind eye.

  16. Aspergillus fumigatus Endophthalmitis with Necrotizing Scleritis following Pars Plana Vitrectomy.

    PubMed

    Gruener, Anna M; Allen, Felicity; Stanford, Miles R; Graham, Elizabeth M

    2016-01-01

    We present a case of Aspergillus fumigatus endophthalmitis complicated by necrotizing scleritis in a 68-year-old man with diet-controlled diabetes, after retinal detachment repair. He was initially treated with systemic steroids for surgically induced necrotizing scleritis following routine pars plana vitrectomy. An additional diagnosis of endophthalmitis was made when the patient developed a hypopyon. Repeat vitreous culture isolated Aspergillus fumigatus. Symptoms improved following antifungal treatment leaving the patient with scleromalacia and an advanced postoperative cataract. Fungal scleritis and endophthalmitis are rare complications of intraocular surgery with sight-threatening consequences, and, as this case demonstrates, may even occur concomitantly. The overlapping features of both conditions can make differentiating one from the other difficult. A fungal aetiology should be considered in cases of postoperative scleritis and endophthalmitis that are protracted and refractory to standard therapy. Even in cases of early diagnosis and treatment, visual outcomes in Aspergillus endophthalmitis and scleritis are variable and often disappointing, not infrequently necessitating enucleation of a painful blind eye. PMID:27379189

  17. Rapid and Sensitive Plate Method for Detection of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Bauters, T. G. M.; Nelis, H. J.

    2000-01-01

    The routine identification of Aspergillus fumigatus in clinical samples involves, apart from direct examination, the isolation of the organism on a plate followed by its microscopic characterization. This approach lacks sensitivity, specificity, and speed. A new procedure has been developed combining microcolony formation on a nylon membrane filter at 45°C with the detection of a specific 4-methylumbelliferyl-α-l-arabinopyranoside cleaving enzyme activity in digitonin permeabilized cells. The test takes approximately 14 h and has an efficiency of 98.2% and false-positive and -negative rates of 0 and 3.1%, respectively. When applied to 188 clinical samples taken from patients with proven or nonproven presence of Aspergillus species, a good agreement with the conventional plate-microscopy method was obtained. PMID:11015405

  18. Novel cytosolic allergens of Aspergillus fumigatus identified from germinating conidia.

    PubMed

    Singh, Bharat; Sharma, Gainda L; Oellerich, Michael; Kumar, Ram; Singh, Seema; Bhadoria, Dharam P; Katyal, Anju; Reichard, Utz; Asif, Abdul R

    2010-11-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the common cause of allergic broncho-pulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) and most of the allergens have been described from its secreted fraction. In the present investigation, germinating conidial cytosolic proteins of A. fumigatus were extracted from a 16 h culture. The proteome from this fraction was developed, and immuno-blots were generated using pooled ABPA patients' sera. Well separated Immunoglobulin-E (IgE) and Immunoglobulin-G (IgG) reactive spots were picked from corresponding 2DE gels and subjected to mass spectrometric analysis. As a result, 66 immuno-reactive proteins were identified from two geographically different strains (190/96 and DAYA) of A. fumigatus. Only 3 out of 66 proteins reacted with IgG, and the remaining 63 proteins were found to be IgE reactive. These 63 IgE-reactive cytosolic proteins from germinating conidia included 2 already known (Asp f12 and Asp f22) and 4 predicted allergens (Hsp88, Hsp70, malate dehydrogenase, and alcohol dehydrogenase) based on their homology with other known fungal allergens. In view of this, the panel of presently identified IgE-reactive novel proteins holds the potential of providing a basis for the wider diagnostic application in assay for allergic aspergillosis. We could demonstrate that recombinantly expressed proteins from this panel showed consistent reactivity with IgE of individual sera of ABPA patients. The recombinantly expressed proteins may also be useful in desensitization therapy of allergic disorders including ABPA.

  19. Secondary metabolite profiles and antifungal drug susceptibility of Aspergillus fumigatus and closely related species, Aspergillus lentulus, Aspergillus udagawae, and Aspergillus viridinutans.

    PubMed

    Tamiya, Hiroyuki; Ochiai, Eri; Kikuchi, Kazuyo; Yahiro, Maki; Toyotome, Takahito; Watanabe, Akira; Yaguchi, Takashi; Kamei, Katsuhiko

    2015-05-01

    The incidence of Aspergillus infection has been increasing in the past few years. Also, new Aspergillus fumigatus-related species, namely Aspergillus lentulus, Aspergillus udagawae, and Aspergillus viridinutans, were shown to infect humans. These fungi exhibit marked morphological similarities to A. fumigatus, albeit with different clinical courses and antifungal drug susceptibilities. The present study used liquid chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry to identify the secondary metabolites secreted as virulence factors by these Aspergillus species and compared their antifungal susceptibility. The metabolite profiles varied widely among A. fumigatus, A. lentulus, A. udagawae, and A. viridinutans, producing 27, 13, 8, and 11 substances, respectively. Among the mycotoxins, fumifungin, fumiquinazoline A/B and D, fumitremorgin B, gliotoxin, sphingofungins, pseurotins, and verruculogen were only found in A. fumigatus, whereas auranthine was only found in A. lentulus. The amount of gliotoxin, one of the most abundant mycotoxins in A. fumigatus, was negligible in these related species. In addition, they had decreased susceptibility to antifungal agents such as itraconazole and voriconazole, even though metabolites that were shared in the isolates showing higher minimum inhibitory concentrations than epidemiological cutoff values were not detected. These strikingly different secondary metabolite profiles may lead to the development of more discriminative identification protocols for such closely related Aspergillus species as well as improved treatment outcomes.

  20. Secondary metabolite profiles and antifungal drug susceptibility of Aspergillus fumigatus and closely related species, Aspergillus lentulus, Aspergillus udagawae, and Aspergillus viridinutans.

    PubMed

    Tamiya, Hiroyuki; Ochiai, Eri; Kikuchi, Kazuyo; Yahiro, Maki; Toyotome, Takahito; Watanabe, Akira; Yaguchi, Takashi; Kamei, Katsuhiko

    2015-05-01

    The incidence of Aspergillus infection has been increasing in the past few years. Also, new Aspergillus fumigatus-related species, namely Aspergillus lentulus, Aspergillus udagawae, and Aspergillus viridinutans, were shown to infect humans. These fungi exhibit marked morphological similarities to A. fumigatus, albeit with different clinical courses and antifungal drug susceptibilities. The present study used liquid chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry to identify the secondary metabolites secreted as virulence factors by these Aspergillus species and compared their antifungal susceptibility. The metabolite profiles varied widely among A. fumigatus, A. lentulus, A. udagawae, and A. viridinutans, producing 27, 13, 8, and 11 substances, respectively. Among the mycotoxins, fumifungin, fumiquinazoline A/B and D, fumitremorgin B, gliotoxin, sphingofungins, pseurotins, and verruculogen were only found in A. fumigatus, whereas auranthine was only found in A. lentulus. The amount of gliotoxin, one of the most abundant mycotoxins in A. fumigatus, was negligible in these related species. In addition, they had decreased susceptibility to antifungal agents such as itraconazole and voriconazole, even though metabolites that were shared in the isolates showing higher minimum inhibitory concentrations than epidemiological cutoff values were not detected. These strikingly different secondary metabolite profiles may lead to the development of more discriminative identification protocols for such closely related Aspergillus species as well as improved treatment outcomes. PMID:25737146

  1. Platelets enhance activity of antimycotic substances against non-Aspergillus fumigatus Aspergillus species in vitro.

    PubMed

    Perkhofer, Susanne; Trappl, Krista; Striessnig, Barbara; Nussbaumer, Walter; Lass-Flörl, Cornelia

    2011-02-01

    Platelets are known to be part of haemostasis but they are also players in innate host defense. Recently, we observed that platelets attenuate the virulence of Aspergillus spp. in vitro. However, little is known about the antifungal effects of platelets in the presence of antimycotics against non-A. fumigatus Aspergillus species. We therefore investigated whether platelets increase the in vitro activity of amphotericin B, voriconazole, posaconazole and caspofungin against two clinical isolates each of Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus terreus and Aspergillus niger. The antifungal activity was evaluated by assessing germination percentages, hyphal elongation and hyphal damage by use of XTT. The combination of platelets plus amphotericin B significantly (P < 0.05) enhanced the reduction of germination percentage compared to either substance alone. Among triazoles, voriconazole exhibited significant effects with platelets for all tested aspergilli. Overall, these findings suggest that among the tested antimycotic substances, amphotericin B in combination with platelets has enhancing effects in reducing germination and hyphal elongation in the tested non-A. fumigatus Aspergillus species. These data indicate that platelets act beneficially with antimycotics in an early stage of fungal growth by blocking and/or delaying fungal germination and hyphal elongation; both crucial mechanisms in the development of invasive fungal disease.

  2. Aspergillus fumigatus Photobiology Illuminates the Marked Heterogeneity between Isolates

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, Kevin K.; Cramer, Robert A.; Zegans, Michael E.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The given strain of Aspergillus fumigatus under study varies across laboratories, ranging from a few widely used “standards,” e.g., Af293 or CEA10, to locally acquired isolates that may be unique to one investigator. Since experiments concerning physiology or gene function are seldom replicated by others, i.e., in a different A. fumigatus background, the extent to which behavioral heterogeneity exists within the species is poorly understood. As a proxy for assessing such intraspecies variability, we analyzed the light response of 15 A. fumigatus isolates and observed striking quantitative and qualitative heterogeneity among them. The majority of the isolates fell into one of two seemingly mutually exclusive groups: (i) “photopigmenters” that robustly accumulate hyphal melanin in the light and (ii) “photoconidiators” that induce sporulation in the light. These two distinct responses were both governed by the same upstream blue light receptor, LreA, indicating that a specific protein’s contribution can vary in a strain-dependent manner. Indeed, while LreA played no apparent role in regulating cell wall homeostasis in strain Af293, it was essential in that regard in strain CEA10. The manifest heterogeneity in the photoresponses led us to compare the virulence levels of selected isolates in a murine model; remarkably, the virulence did vary greatly, although not in a manner that correlated with their overt light response. Taken together, these data highlight the extent to which isolates of A. fumigatus can vary, with respect to both broad physiological characteristics (e.g., virulence and photoresponse) and specific protein functionality (e.g., LreA-dependent phenotypes). PMID:27651362

  3. Transcriptomic and proteomic analyses of the Aspergillus fumigatus hypoxia response using an oxygen-controlled fermenter

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Aspergillus fumigatus is a mold responsible for the majority of cases of aspergillosis in humans. To survive in the human body, A. fumigatus must adapt to microenvironments that are often characterized by low nutrient and oxygen availability. Recent research suggests that the ability of A. fumigatus and other pathogenic fungi to adapt to hypoxia contributes to their virulence. However, molecular mechanisms of A. fumigatus hypoxia adaptation are poorly understood. Thus, to better understand how A. fumigatus adapts to hypoxic microenvironments found in vivo during human fungal pathogenesis, the dynamic changes of the fungal transcriptome and proteome in hypoxia were investigated over a period of 24 hours utilizing an oxygen-controlled fermenter system. Results Significant increases in transcripts associated with iron and sterol metabolism, the cell wall, the GABA shunt, and transcriptional regulators were observed in response to hypoxia. A concomitant reduction in transcripts was observed with ribosome and terpenoid backbone biosynthesis, TCA cycle, amino acid metabolism and RNA degradation. Analysis of changes in transcription factor mRNA abundance shows that hypoxia induces significant positive and negative changes that may be important for regulating the hypoxia response in this pathogenic mold. Growth in hypoxia resulted in changes in the protein levels of several glycolytic enzymes, but these changes were not always reflected by the corresponding transcriptional profiling data. However, a good correlation overall (R2 = 0.2, p < 0.05) existed between the transcriptomic and proteomics datasets for all time points. The lack of correlation between some transcript levels and their subsequent protein levels suggests another regulatory layer of the hypoxia response in A. fumigatus. Conclusions Taken together, our data suggest a robust cellular response that is likely regulated both at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional level in response to hypoxia

  4. Characterization of the FKBP12-Encoding Genes in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Richards, Amber D.; Vargas-Muñiz, José M.; Renshaw, Hilary; Steinbach, William J.

    2015-01-01

    Invasive aspergillosis, largely caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, is responsible for a growing number of deaths among immunosuppressed patients. Immunosuppressants such as FK506 (tacrolimus) that target calcineurin have shown promise for antifungal drug development. FK506-binding proteins (FKBPs) form a complex with calcineurin in the presence of FK506 (FKBP12-FK506) and inhibit calcineurin activity. Research on FKBPs in fungi is limited, and none of the FKBPs have been previously characterized in A. fumigatus. We identified four orthologous genes of FKBP12, the human FK506 binding partner, in A. fumigatus and designated them fkbp12-1, fkbp12-2, fkbp12-3, and fkbp12-4. Deletional analysis of the four genes revealed that the Δfkbp12-1 strain was resistant to FK506, indicating FKBP12-1 as the key mediator of FK506-binding to calcineurin. The endogenously expressed FKBP12-1-EGFP fusion protein localized to the cytoplasm and nuclei under normal growth conditions but also to the hyphal septa following FK506 treatment, revealing its interaction with calcineurin. The FKBP12-1-EGFP fusion protein didn’t localize at the septa in the presence of FK506 in the cnaA deletion background, confirming its interaction with calcineurin. Testing of all deletion strains in the Galleria mellonella model of aspergillosis suggested that these proteins don’t play an important role in virulence. While the Δfkbp12-2 and Δfkbp12-3 strains didn’t show any discernable phenotype, the Δfkbp12-4 strain displayed slight growth defect under normal growth conditions and inhibition of the caspofungin-mediated “paradoxical growth effect” at higher concentrations of the antifungal caspofungin. Together, these results indicate that while only FKBP12-1 is the bona fide binding partner of FK506, leading to the inhibition of calcineurin in A. fumigatus, FKBP12-4 may play a role in basal growth and the caspofungin-mediated paradoxical growth response. Exploitation of differences between A

  5. Re-identification of Aspergillus fumigatus sensu lato based on a new concept of species delimitation.

    PubMed

    Hong, Seung-Beom; Kim, Dae-Ho; Park, In-Cheol; Choi, Young-Joon; Shin, Hyeon-Dong; Samson, Robert

    2010-10-01

    The species concept of Aspergillus fumigatus sensu stricto has recently been defined by polyphasic taxonomy. Based on the new concept of species delimitations, 146 worldwide strains of Aspergillus fumigatus sensu lato were re-identified. Of those 146 strains, 140 (95.8%) could be identified as A. fumigatus sensu stricto, 3 (2.1%) as A. lentulus, and the remaining 3 strains as A. viridinutans complex, Neosartorya udagawae, and N. cf. nishimurae. Of 98 clinical strains, only 1 from dolphin nostril was identified as A. lentulus and not A. fumigatus sensu stricto. Random amplification of polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR) with primers PELF and URP1F produced nearly the same band patterns among 136 strains of A. fumigatus sensu stricto while discriminated the species from its related species. We also discussed about identification of several atypical A. fumigatus strains from clinical environments.

  6. Phenotypic and genotypic analysis of variability in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed Central

    Rinyu, E; Varga, J; Ferenczy, L

    1995-01-01

    Sixty-one isolates and collection strains of Aspergillus fumigatus were compared for their phenotypic (morphological features and isoenzyme profiles) and genotypic (restriction enzyme-generated mitochondrial DNA and ribosomal DNA profiles and random amplified polymorphic DNA patterns) features. The examined strains exhibited highly variable colony morphologies and growth rates at different temperatures, but their micromorphologies and conidial diameters were characteristic of the species. Of the isoenzymes studied, the beta-arylesterase and phosphatase patterns were the most divergent, and the 61 strains could be classified into seven groups. The glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase and catalase isoenzyme patterns displayed only a limited variability, while the profiles of superoxide dismutase, lactate dehydrogenase, and glutamate dehydrogenase were highly conserved. The HaeIII-generated mitochondrial DNA patterns and SmaI-digested repetitive DNA and ribosomal DNA hybridization patterns of almost all strains were also invariable. The level of variation was much higher when random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis was applied. Although the patterns of the strains were very similar with most of the primers, the application of some primers made it possible to cluster the A. fumigatus isolates into several groups. The results indicate that the random amplified polymorphic DNA technique could be used more efficiently than isoenzyme analysis for typing A. fumigatus isolates. A good correlation was found between the dendrograms obtained from the isoenzyme and random amplified polymorphic DNA data, but the isoenzyme and amplified DNA patterns did not correlate with the pathogenicity, pigment production, or geographical origin of the strains.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:8567884

  7. Accumulation of ergot alkaloids during conidiophore development in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Mulinti, Prashanthi; Allen, Natalie A; Coyle, Christine M; Gravelat, Fabrice N; Sheppard, Donald C; Panaccione, Daniel G

    2014-01-01

    Production of ergot alkaloids in the opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus is restricted to conidiating cultures. These cultures typically accumulate several pathway intermediates at concentrations comparable to that of the pathway end product. We investigated the contribution of different cell types that constitute the multicellular conidiophore of A. fumigatus to the production of ergot alkaloid pathway intermediates versus the pathway end product, fumigaclavine C. A relatively minor share (11 %) of the ergot alkaloid yield on a molar basis was secreted into the medium, whereas the remainder was associated with the conidiating colonies. Entire conidiating cultures (containing hyphae, vesicle of conidiophore, phialides of conidiophore, and conidia) accumulated higher levels of the pathway intermediate festuclavine and lower levels of the pathway end product fumigaclavine C than did isolated, abscised conidia, indicating that conidiophores and/or hyphae have a quantitatively different ergot alkaloid profile compared to that of conidia. Differences in alkaloid accumulation among cell types also were indicated by studies with conidiophore development mutants. A ∆medA mutant, in which conidiophores are numerous but develop poorly, accumulated higher levels of pathway intermediates than did the wildtype or a complemented ∆medA mutant. A ∆stuA mutant, which grows mainly as hyphae and produces very few, abnormal conidiophores, produced no detectable ergot alkaloids. The data indicated heterogeneous spatial distribution of ergot alkaloid pathway intermediates versus pathway end product in conidiating cultures of A. fumigatus. This skewed distribution may reflect differences in abundance or activity of pathway enzymes among cell types of those conidiating cultures. PMID:23925951

  8. Genetic relatedness versus biological compatibility between Aspergillus fumigatus and related species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aspergillus section Fumigati contains twelve clinically relevant species. Among them, A. fumigatus is the most frequent agent of invasive aspergillosis followed by A. lentulus and A. viridinutans. Genealogical concordance and mating experiments were performed to examine the relationship between phyl...

  9. Bioconversion of tea polyphenols to bioactive theabrownins by Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qiuping; Gong, Jiashun; Chisti, Yusuf; Sirisansaneeyakul, Sarote

    2014-12-01

    Theabrownins (TB) are water-soluble phenolic compounds associated with the various health benefits of Pu-erh tea, a post-fermented Chinese dark tea. This work reports on the production of theabrownins from infusions of sun-dried green tea leaves using a pure culture of Aspergillus fumigatus isolated from a solid-state Pu-erh tea fermentation. A theabrownins yield of 158 g kg(-1) sun-dried green tea leaves was obtained in 6 days at 45 °C in an aerobic fermentation. In a 2 l fermenter, the yield of theabrownins was 151 g kg(-1) sun-dried green tea leaves in 48 h of aerobic culture (45 °C, 1 vvm aeration rate, 250 rpm agitation speed). Extracellular polyphenol oxidase and peroxidase of A. fumigatus contributed to this bioconversion. Repeated batch fermentation process was used for producing theabrownins but was less productive than the batch process.

  10. Testing the efficacy of RNA interference constructs in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Henry, Christine; Mouyna, Isabelle; Latgé, Jean-Paul

    2007-04-01

    We recently developed a silencing vector in Aspergillus fumigatus which carries a hygromycin resistance marker and a transcriptional unit for hairpin RNA expression under the control of the inducible glucoamylase promoter (pGla) (Mouyna et al. in FEMS Microbiol Lett 237:317-324, 2004). We showed previously that this vector can be used for the RNA interference application of two genes ALB1 and FKS1 of which reduced mRNA levels occurred for both, with phenotypic consequences resembling disruptions of genes involved in melanin (ALB1) and beta(1-3)glucan biosynthesis (FKS1). We reported here the silencing of KRE6 and CRH1, two other genes putatively involved in cell wall biosynthesis using a similar construction under the control of the constitutive promoter glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (pgpdA). Silencing of the expression of these two genes was obtained. Further analysis of the transformants showed however that (1) a 100% loss of expression was never achieved for all genes tested (2) the vector used for RNAi is lost or modified over successive transfers resulting in an inhibition of the silencing. These disadvantages of RNAi indicate that classical gene disruption by gene replacement remains the most efficient method for a molecular analysis of gene function in A. fumigatus. PMID:17273823

  11. Azole resistance in canine and feline isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Talbot, Jessica J; Kidd, Sarah E; Martin, Patricia; Beatty, Julia A; Barrs, Vanessa R

    2015-10-01

    Azole resistance is an emerging cause of treatment failure in humans with aspergillosis. The aim of this study was to determine if azole resistance is emerging in Aspergillus fumigatus isolates from canine and feline sino-nasal aspergillosis cases. Susceptibilities of isolates collected between 1988 and 2014 from 46 dogs and 4 cats to itraconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole, fluconazole and ketoconazole were assessed using Sensititre YeastOne microdilution trays; and to enilconazole and clotrimazole, following the CLSI M38-A2 standard. For the majority of isolates MICs were high for ketoconazole, low for enilconazole and clotrimazole, and less than established epidemiological cut-off values for itraconazole, posaconazole and voriconazole. One canine isolate from 1992 had multiazole resistance and on Cyp51A gene sequencing a mutation associated with azole resistance (F46Y) was detected. There is no evidence of emerging azole resistance among A. fumigatus isolates from dogs and cats and topical azole therapy should be effective against most isolates. PMID:26387063

  12. Thorium biosorption by Aspergillus fumigatus, a filamentous fungal biomass.

    PubMed

    Bhainsa, Kuber C; D'Souza, Stanislaus F

    2009-06-15

    Thorium biosorption by Aspergillus fumigatus was carried out in a batch reactor to study the effect of initial pH and metal ion concentration, contact time, biomass dose and kinetics and equilibrium Th uptake. Thorium(IV) uptake by A. fumigatus was pH dependent (pH range, 2.0-6.0) and maximum sorption was observed at pH 4.0. The uptake was rapid and the biosorption process reached equilibrium within 2h of contact times at pH 2-4 and initial Th concentration of 50 and 100mg/L. The kinetics data fitted well to Lagergren's pseudo-second-order rate equation (r(2)>0.99). A maximum initial sorption rate of 71.94 (mg/g min) and second-order rate constant of 7.82 x 10(-2) (g/mg min) were observed at pH 4.0, 50 mg Th/L. The observed maximum uptake of thorium was 370 mg Th/g at equilibrium. Biosorption process could be well described by Langmuir isotherm in comparison to Freundlich and Temkin isotherms. Sodium bicarbonate was the most efficient desorbing reagent with desorption efficiency of more than 99%. Environmental scanning electron micrograph (ESEM) showed that the surface of the biomass after desorption was intact.

  13. Genetic control of asexual development in aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Alkhayyat, Fahad; Chang Kim, Sun; Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most common fungi found in the environment. It is an opportunistic human pathogen causing invasive pulmonary aspergillosis with a high mortality rate in immunocompromised patients. Conidia, the asexual spores, serve as the main dispersal and infection agent allowing entrance of the fungus into the host through the respiratory tract. Therefore, understanding the asexual developmental process that gives rise to the conidia is of great interest to the scientific community and is currently the focus of an immense load of research being conducted. We have been studying the genetic basis that controls asexual development and gliotoxin biosynthesis in A. fumigatus. In this review, we discuss the genetic regulatory system that dictates conidiation in this important fungus by covering the roles of crucial genetic factors from the upstream heterotrimeric G-protein signaling components to the more specific downstream central activators of the conidiation pathway. In addition, other key asexual regulators including the velvet regulators, the Flb proteins and their associated regulatory factors are discussed.

  14. Important factors mediates the adhesion of aspergillus fumigatus to alveolar epithelial cells with E-cadherin.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiao-Yong; Chen, Fei; Sun, He; Chen, Chen; Zhao, Bei-Lei

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus is widely distributed in the Earth's biosphere. It has strong adaptive capacity, and lives as saprophytic or parasitic life. This study aims to investigate the role of E-cadherin for adhesion of Aspergillus fumigatus blastospores in a human epithelial cell line (A549) and search the correlated molecule in aspergillus. A. fumigatus blastospores were incubated with the total protein of A549 to investigate the binding of E-cadherin and blastospores followed by an affinity purification procedure. After establishing the adhesion model, the adhesion of A. fumigatus blastospores by A549 cells was evaluated by down-regulating E-cadherin of A549 cells with small interfering RNA (siRNA). FVB mice constructed with E-cadherin down-regulation were infected with aspergillus fumigatus. Preliminary exploration of E-cadherin interacting protein on the surface of aspergillus fumigates by immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry analysis. E-cadherin was adhered to the surface of A. fumigatus blastospore. Adhesion of the blastospores was reduced by blocking or down-regulating E-cadherin in A549 cells. E-cadherin showed limited significance in the process of mice against aspergillus fumigates. Mass spectrometry (MS) analysis indicated the following proteins AFUA_8G07080, AfA24A6.130c, XP_747789 can bind to E-cadherin. In conclusion, E-cadherin is a receptor for adhesion of A. fumigatus blastospores in epithelial cells. This may open a new approach to treat this fungal infection. PMID:27347350

  15. The Gβ-like protein CpcB is required for hyphal growth, conidiophore morphology and pathogenicity in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Cai, Zhen-dong; Chai, Yan-fei; Zhang, Cai-yun; Qiao, Wei-ran; Sang, Hong; Lu, Ling

    2015-08-01

    CpcB (cross pathway control B) encodes a yeast Cpc2 and mammalian RACK1 (receptor for activated protein kinase C) ortholog, which is a WD repeat protein with functional homology to the β subunit of heterotrimeric G proteins in Aspergillus fumigatus. Previous study has reported that CpcB governs growth and development in both A. fumigatus and Aspergillus nidulans. However, little is known about the functional identities of CpcB orthologs and their relationships with G protein complexes. In this study, we verified that cytoplasmic AfCpcB acts as a Gβ-like protein ortholog and plays important roles in hyphal growth, conidiophore morphology, cell wall integrity, and virulence in A. fumigatus. Furthermore, double deletion of AfcpcB and AfgpaB (Gα) causes a similar phenotype to AfgpaB mutant with abnormal multiple septa conidiophores but exhibits sparse conidiation with white and fluffy colonies. Thus, the exacerbated conidiation defect suggests that AfcpcB has its own specific function compared to the Gα subunit of AfgpaB or the G-protein complex. In addition, complementation assays using AfcpcB orthologs of A. nidulans and yeasts (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Candida albicans) suggest that all tested fungal AfcpcB orthologs under the A. fumigatus native promoter can largely restore hyphal growth defects in AfcpcB deletion mutant, but only the A. nidulans cpcB ortholog completely rescues the ΔAfcpcB conidiation defect, suggesting that CpcB acts as a Gβ-like protein ortholog in the Aspergilli, but may have unique and important unexplored functions that required for conidiation, which is absent in yeast. PMID:25892048

  16. Plant-like biosynthesis of isoquinoline alkaloids in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Baccile, Joshua A.; Spraker, Joseph E.; Le, Henry H.; Brandenburger, Eileen; Gomez, Christian; Bok, Jin Woo; Macheleidt, Juliane; Brakhage, Axel A.; Hoffmeister, Dirk; Keller, Nancy P.; Schroeder, Frank C.

    2016-01-01

    Natural product discovery efforts have focused primarily on microbial biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) containing large multi-modular PKSs and NRPSs; however, sequencing of fungal genomes has revealed a vast number of BGCs containing smaller NRPS-like genes of unknown biosynthetic function. Using comparative metabolomics, we show that a BGC in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus named fsq, which contains an NRPS-like gene lacking a condensation domain, produces several novel isoquinoline alkaloids, the fumisoquins. These compounds derive from carbon-carbon bond formation between two amino acid-derived moieties followed by a sequence that is directly analogous to isoquinoline alkaloid biosynthesis in plants. Fumisoquin biosynthesis requires the N-methyltransferase FsqC and the FAD-dependent oxidase FsqB, which represent functional analogs of coclaurine N-methyltransferase and berberine bridge enzyme in plants. Our results show that BGCs containing incomplete NRPS modules may reveal new biosynthetic paradigms and suggest that plant-like isoquinoline biosynthesis occurs in diverse fungi. PMID:27065235

  17. Binding of human fibronectin to Aspergillus fumigatus conidia.

    PubMed Central

    Peñalver, M C; O'Connor, J E; Martinez, J P; Gil, M L

    1996-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus conidia exhibited the ability to bind purified human fibronectin, whereas mycelial forms did not bind the ligand, as detected by an indirect immunofluorescence assay with an antifibronectin polyclonal antibody after incubation of the cells with fibronectin. Flow cytometry confirmed that binding of the ligand to conidia was dose dependent and saturable. Pretreatment of the cells with trypsin markedly reduced binding, which suggested a protein nature for the binding sites present at the surface of conidia. Intact conidia were also able to adhere to fibronectin or antifibronectin antibodies, a significant reduction (from 88 to 92%) in the binding of conidia was noticed, thus suggesting that adhesion to the immobilized ligand was specific. Analysis by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and Western immunoblotting with fibronectin and antifibronectin antibody of whole conidial homogenates and 2-mercaptoethanol extracts from isolated conidial cell walls allowed identification, among the complex array of protein and glycoprotein species present in both cell-free preparations, of two polypeptides with apparent molecular masses of 23 and 30 kDa which specifically interact with fibronectin. PMID:8606071

  18. Tryptophan aminopeptidase activity of several indole prenyltransferases from Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Kremer, Anika; Li, Shu-Ming

    2008-07-21

    Recently, five indole prenyltransferases from Aspergillus fumigatus have been proven biochemically to be responsible for prenylations of diverse substrates. In this study, we show peptidase activities of 7-DMATS, FgaPT1, CdpNPT, and FtmPT1, with preference for linear peptides containing a tryptophanyl moiety at the N terminus. Testing of 31 peptides revealed that these enzymes shared similar substrate specificity and accepted H-L-Trp-L-Ala-OH and H-L-Trp-Gly-OH as best substrates for aminopeptidase activity. By using H-L-Trp-Gly-OH as substrate, Km values at 350, 380, 300, and 420 microM and enzymatic rate constants kcat/Km at 0.51, 0.24, 0.53, and 0.14 mM(-1)s(-1) were determined for 7-DMATS, FgaPT1, CdpNPT, and FtmPT1, respectively. In contrast to prenyltransferase activities, the aminopeptidase activities were strongly or completely inhibited by EDTA. Mn2+ increased the aminopeptidase activities of FtmPT1 and CdpNPT up to 4- and 6-fold, respectively. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the catalytic promiscuity of prenyltransferases.

  19. Isolation and Identification of Aspergillus fumigatus Mycotoxins on Growth Medium and Some Building Materials

    PubMed Central

    Nieminen, Susanna M.; Kärki, Riikka; Auriola, Seppo; Toivola, Mika; Laatsch, Hartmut; Laatikainen, Reino; Hyvärinen, Anne; von Wright, Atte

    2002-01-01

    Genotoxic and cytotoxic compounds were isolated and purified from the culture medium of an indoor air mold, Aspergillus fumigatus. One of these compounds was identified as gliotoxin, a known fungal secondary metabolite. Growth of A. fumigatus and gliotoxin production on some building materials were also studied. Strong growth of the mold and the presence of gliotoxin were detected on spruce wood, gypsum board, and chipboard under saturation conditions. PMID:12324333

  20. cyp51A-based mechanism of azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus: Illustration by a new 3D Structural Model of Aspergillus fumigatus CYP51A protein.

    PubMed

    Liu, Musang; Zheng, Nan; Li, Dongmei; Zheng, Hailin; Zhang, Lili; Ge, Hu; Liu, Weida

    2016-05-01

    Mutations of CYP51A protein (Cytochrome P450 14-α Sterol demethylase) play a central role in the azole resistance of Aspergillus fumigatus The available structural models of CYP51A protein ofA. fumigatus are built based on that of Homo sapiens and that of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, of which the amino acid homology is only 38% and 29% compared with CYP51A protein ofA. fumigatus, respectively. In the present study, we constructed a new 3D structural model ofA. fumigatus CYP51A protein based on a recently resolved crystal structure of the homologous protein in the fungus S. cerevisiae, which shares 50% amino acid homology with A. fumigatus CYP51A protein. Three azole molecules, itraconazole, voriconazole, and posaconazole, were docked to the wild-type and the mutant A. fumigatus CYP51A protein models, respectively, to illustrate the impact of cyp51A mutations to azole-resistance. We found the mutations that occurred at L98, M220, and Y431 positions would decrease the binding affinity of azoles to the CYP51A protein and therefore would reduce their inhibitory effects. Additionally, the mutations of L98 and G432 would reduce the stability of the protein, which might lead to conformational change of its binding pocket and eventually the resistance to azoles.

  1. Characterization of the Aspergillus nidulans aspnd1 gene demonstrates that the ASPND1 antigen, which it encodes, and several Aspergillus fumigatus immunodominant antigens belong to the same family.

    PubMed Central

    Calera, J A; Ovejero, M C; López-Medrano, R; Segurado, M; Puente, P; Leal, F

    1997-01-01

    For the first time, an immunodominant Aspergillus nidulans antigen (ASPND1) consistently reactive with serum samples from aspergilloma patients has been purified and characterized, and its coding gene (aspnd1) has been cloned and sequenced. ASPND1 is a glycoprotein with four N-glycosidically-bound sugar chains (around 2.1 kDa each) which are not necessary for reactivity with immune human sera. The polypeptide part is synthesized as a 277-amino-acid precursor of 30.6 kDa that after cleavage of a putative signal peptide of 16 amino acids, affords a mature protein of 261 amino acids with a molecular mass of 29 kDa and a pI of 4.24 (as deduced from the sequence). The ASPND1 protein is 53.1% identical to the AspfII allergen from Aspergillus fumigatus and 48% identical to an unpublished Candida albicans antigen. All of the cysteine residues and most of the glycosylation sites are perfectly conserved in the three proteins, suggesting a similar but yet unknown function. Analysis of the primary structure of the ASPND1 coding gene (aspnd1) has allowed the establishment of a clear relationship between several previously reported A. fumigatus and A. nidulans immunodominant antigens. PMID:9119471

  2. Extrolites of Aspergillus fumigatus and Other Pathogenic Species in Aspergillus Section Fumigati

    PubMed Central

    Frisvad, Jens C.; Larsen, Thomas O.

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an important opportunistic human pathogen known for its production of a large array of extrolites. Up to 63 species have been described in Aspergillus section Fumigati, some of which have also been reliably reported to be pathogenic, including A. felis, A. fischeri, A. fumigatiaffinis, A. fumisynnematus, A. hiratsukae, A. laciniosus, A. lentulus, A. novofumigatus, A. parafelis, A. pseudofelis, A. pseudoviridinutans, A. spinosus, A. thermomutatus, and A. udagawae. These species share the production of hydrophobins, melanins, and siderophores and ability to grow well at 37°C, but they only share some small molecule extrolites, that could be important factors in pathogenicity. According to the literature gliotoxin and other exometabolites can be contributing factors to pathogenicity, but these exometabolites are apparently not produced by all pathogenic species. It is our hypothesis that species unable to produce some of these metabolites can produce proxy-exometabolites that may serve the same function. We tabulate all exometabolites reported from species in Aspergillus section Fumigati and by comparing the profile of those extrolites, suggest that those producing many different kinds of exometabolites are potential opportunistic pathogens. The exometabolite data also suggest that the profile of exometabolites are highly specific and can be used for identification of these closely related species. PMID:26779142

  3. Humoral and cell-mediated autoimmunity in allergy to Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    1996-01-01

    A cDNA encoding an allergenic protein was isolated from an Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) cDNA library displayed on the surface of filamentous phage. Serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) from A. fumigatus- sensitized individuals was used to enrich phage-expressing gene products binding to IgE. One of the cDNAs encoded a 26.7-kD protein that was identified as a manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) sharing 51.5% identity and 67.2% homology to the corresponding human enzyme. Both human and A. fumigatus MnSOD coding sequences were expressed in Escherichia coli as [His]6-tagged fusion proteins and purified by Ni(2+)-chelate affinity chromatography. The two recombinant MnSODs were both recognized by IgE antibodies from subjects allergic to the A. fumigatus MnSOD and elicited specific immediate type allergic skin reactions in these individuals. Moreover, both human and A. fumigatus MnSOD induced proliferation in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of A. fumigatus-allergic subjects who showed specific IgE responses and reacted in skin tests to MnSOD. These observations provide evidence for autoreactivity to the human MnSOD in allergic persons sensitized to an environmental allergen from A. fumigatus who share a high degree of sequence homology to the corresponding human enzyme. PMID:8691141

  4. Interaction of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia with Acanthamoeba castellanii parallels macrophage-fungus interactions.

    PubMed

    Van Waeyenberghe, Lieven; Baré, Julie; Pasmans, Frank; Claeys, Myriam; Bert, Wim; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Houf, Kurt; Martel, An

    2013-12-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus and free-living amoebae are common inhabitants of soil. Mechanisms of A. fumigatus to circumvent the amoeba's digestion may facilitate overcoming the vertebrate macrophage defence mechanisms. We performed co-culture experiments using A. fumigatus conidia and the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii. Approximately 25% of the amoebae ingested A. fumigatus conidia after 1 h of contact. During intra-amoebal passage, part of the ingested conidia was able to escape the food vacuole and to germinate inside the cytoplasm of A. castellanii. Fungal release into the extra-protozoan environment by exocytosis of conidia or by germination was observed with light and transmission electron microscopy. These processes resulted in structural changes in A. castellanii, leading to amoebal permeabilization without cell lysis. In conclusion, A. castellanii internalizes A. fumigatus conidia, resulting in fungal intracellular germination and subsequent amoebal death. As such, this interaction highly resembles that of A. fumigatus with mammalian and avian macrophages. This suggests that A. fumigatus virulence mechanisms to evade macrophage killing may be acquired by co-evolutionary interactions among A. fumigatus and environmental amoebae. PMID:24249290

  5. Survival of Aspergillus fumigatus in serum involves removal of iron from transferrin: the role of siderophores.

    PubMed

    Hissen, A H T; Chow, J M T; Pinto, L J; Moore, M M

    2004-03-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a filamentous fungus which can cause invasive disease in immunocompromised individuals. A. fumigatus can grow in medium containing up to 80% human serum, despite very low concentrations of free iron. The purpose of this study was to determine the mechanism by which A. fumigatus obtains iron from the serum iron-binding protein transferrin. In iron-depleted minimal essential medium (MEM), A. fumigatus growth was supported by the addition of holotransferrin (holoTf) or FeCl(3) but not by the addition of apotransferrin (apoTf). Proteolytic degradation of transferrin by A. fumigatus occurred in MEM-serum; however, transferrin degradation did not occur until late logarithmic phase. Moreover, transferrin was not degraded by A. fumigatus incubated in MEM-holoTf. Urea polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis showed that in MEM-holoTf, holoTf was completely converted to apoTf by A. fumigatus. In human serum, all of the monoferric transferrin was converted to apoTf within 8 h. Siderophores were secreted by A. fumigatus after 8 h of growth in MEM-serum and 12 h in MEM-holoTf. The involvement of small molecules in iron acquisition was confirmed by the fact that transferrin was deferrated by A. fumigatus even when physically separated by a 12-kDa-cutoff membrane. Five siderophores were purified from A. fumigatus culture medium, and the two major siderophores were identified as triacetylfusarinine C and ferricrocin. Both triacetylfusarinine C and ferricrocin removed iron from holoTf with an affinity comparable to that of ferrichrome. These data indicate that A. fumigatus survival in human serum in vitro involves siderophore-mediated removal of iron from transferrin. Proteolytic degradation of transferrin may play a secondary role in iron acquisition. PMID:14977945

  6. Abundant respirable ergot alkaloids from the common airborne fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Panaccione, Daniel G; Coyle, Christine M

    2005-06-01

    Ergot alkaloids are mycotoxins that interact with several monoamine receptors, negatively affecting cardiovascular, nervous, reproductive, and immune systems of exposed humans and animals. Aspergillus fumigatus, a common airborne fungus and opportunistic human pathogen, can produce ergot alkaloids in broth culture. The objectives of this study were to determine if A. fumigatus accumulates ergot alkaloids in a respirable form in or on its conidia, to quantify ergot alkaloids associated with conidia produced on several different substrates, and to measure relevant physical properties of the conidia. We found at least four ergot alkaloids, fumigaclavine C, festuclavine, fumigaclavine A, and fumigaclavine B (in order of abundance), associated with conidia of A. fumigatus. Under environmentally relevant conditions, the total mass of ergot alkaloids often constituted >1% of the mass of the conidium. Ergot alkaloids were extracted from conidia produced on all media tested, and the greatest quantities were observed when the fungus was cultured on latex paint or cultured maize seedlings. The values for physical properties of conidia likely to affect their respirability (i.e., diameter, mass, and specific gravity) were significantly lower for A. fumigatus than for Aspergillus nidulans, Aspergillus niger, and Stachybotrys chartarum. The demonstration of relatively high concentrations of ergot alkaloids associated with conidia of A. fumigatus presents opportunities for investigations of potential contributions of the toxins to adverse health effects associated with the fungus and to aspects of the biology of the fungus that contribute to its success.

  7. Abundant respirable ergot alkaloids from the common airborne fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Panaccione, Daniel G; Coyle, Christine M

    2005-06-01

    Ergot alkaloids are mycotoxins that interact with several monoamine receptors, negatively affecting cardiovascular, nervous, reproductive, and immune systems of exposed humans and animals. Aspergillus fumigatus, a common airborne fungus and opportunistic human pathogen, can produce ergot alkaloids in broth culture. The objectives of this study were to determine if A. fumigatus accumulates ergot alkaloids in a respirable form in or on its conidia, to quantify ergot alkaloids associated with conidia produced on several different substrates, and to measure relevant physical properties of the conidia. We found at least four ergot alkaloids, fumigaclavine C, festuclavine, fumigaclavine A, and fumigaclavine B (in order of abundance), associated with conidia of A. fumigatus. Under environmentally relevant conditions, the total mass of ergot alkaloids often constituted >1% of the mass of the conidium. Ergot alkaloids were extracted from conidia produced on all media tested, and the greatest quantities were observed when the fungus was cultured on latex paint or cultured maize seedlings. The values for physical properties of conidia likely to affect their respirability (i.e., diameter, mass, and specific gravity) were significantly lower for A. fumigatus than for Aspergillus nidulans, Aspergillus niger, and Stachybotrys chartarum. The demonstration of relatively high concentrations of ergot alkaloids associated with conidia of A. fumigatus presents opportunities for investigations of potential contributions of the toxins to adverse health effects associated with the fungus and to aspects of the biology of the fungus that contribute to its success. PMID:15933008

  8. FleA Expression in Aspergillus fumigatus Is Recognized by Fucosylated Structures on Mucins and Macrophages to Prevent Lung Infection.

    PubMed

    Kerr, Sheena C; Fischer, Gregory J; Sinha, Meenal; McCabe, Orla; Palmer, Jonathan M; Choera, Tsokyi; Lim, Fang Yun; Wimmerova, Michaela; Carrington, Stephen D; Yuan, Shaopeng; Lowell, Clifford A; Oscarson, Stefan; Keller, Nancy P; Fahy, John V

    2016-04-01

    The immune mechanisms that recognize inhaled Aspergillus fumigatus conidia to promote their elimination from the lungs are incompletely understood. FleA is a lectin expressed by Aspergillus fumigatus that has twelve binding sites for fucosylated structures that are abundant in the glycan coats of multiple plant and animal proteins. The role of FleA is unknown: it could bind fucose in decomposed plant matter to allow Aspergillus fumigatus to thrive in soil, or it may be a virulence factor that binds fucose in lung glycoproteins to cause Aspergillus fumigatus pneumonia. Our studies show that FleA protein and Aspergillus fumigatus conidia bind avidly to purified lung mucin glycoproteins in a fucose-dependent manner. In addition, FleA binds strongly to macrophage cell surface proteins, and macrophages bind and phagocytose fleA-deficient (∆fleA) conidia much less efficiently than wild type (WT) conidia. Furthermore, a potent fucopyranoside glycomimetic inhibitor of FleA inhibits binding and phagocytosis of WT conidia by macrophages, confirming the specific role of fucose binding in macrophage recognition of WT conidia. Finally, mice infected with ΔfleA conidia had more severe pneumonia and invasive aspergillosis than mice infected with WT conidia. These findings demonstrate that FleA is not a virulence factor for Aspergillus fumigatus. Instead, host recognition of FleA is a critical step in mechanisms of mucin binding, mucociliary clearance, and macrophage killing that prevent Aspergillus fumigatus pneumonia. PMID:27058347

  9. FleA Expression in Aspergillus fumigatus Is Recognized by Fucosylated Structures on Mucins and Macrophages to Prevent Lung Infection

    PubMed Central

    Sinha, Meenal; McCabe, Orla; Palmer, Jonathan M.; Choera, Tsokyi; Yun Lim, Fang; Wimmerova, Michaela; Carrington, Stephen D.; Yuan, Shaopeng; Lowell, Clifford A.; Oscarson, Stefan; Keller, Nancy P.; Fahy, John V.

    2016-01-01

    The immune mechanisms that recognize inhaled Aspergillus fumigatus conidia to promote their elimination from the lungs are incompletely understood. FleA is a lectin expressed by Aspergillus fumigatus that has twelve binding sites for fucosylated structures that are abundant in the glycan coats of multiple plant and animal proteins. The role of FleA is unknown: it could bind fucose in decomposed plant matter to allow Aspergillus fumigatus to thrive in soil, or it may be a virulence factor that binds fucose in lung glycoproteins to cause Aspergillus fumigatus pneumonia. Our studies show that FleA protein and Aspergillus fumigatus conidia bind avidly to purified lung mucin glycoproteins in a fucose-dependent manner. In addition, FleA binds strongly to macrophage cell surface proteins, and macrophages bind and phagocytose fleA-deficient (∆fleA) conidia much less efficiently than wild type (WT) conidia. Furthermore, a potent fucopyranoside glycomimetic inhibitor of FleA inhibits binding and phagocytosis of WT conidia by macrophages, confirming the specific role of fucose binding in macrophage recognition of WT conidia. Finally, mice infected with ΔfleA conidia had more severe pneumonia and invasive aspergillosis than mice infected with WT conidia. These findings demonstrate that FleA is not a virulence factor for Aspergillus fumigatus. Instead, host recognition of FleA is a critical step in mechanisms of mucin binding, mucociliary clearance, and macrophage killing that prevent Aspergillus fumigatus pneumonia. PMID:27058347

  10. FleA Expression in Aspergillus fumigatus Is Recognized by Fucosylated Structures on Mucins and Macrophages to Prevent Lung Infection.

    PubMed

    Kerr, Sheena C; Fischer, Gregory J; Sinha, Meenal; McCabe, Orla; Palmer, Jonathan M; Choera, Tsokyi; Lim, Fang Yun; Wimmerova, Michaela; Carrington, Stephen D; Yuan, Shaopeng; Lowell, Clifford A; Oscarson, Stefan; Keller, Nancy P; Fahy, John V

    2016-04-01

    The immune mechanisms that recognize inhaled Aspergillus fumigatus conidia to promote their elimination from the lungs are incompletely understood. FleA is a lectin expressed by Aspergillus fumigatus that has twelve binding sites for fucosylated structures that are abundant in the glycan coats of multiple plant and animal proteins. The role of FleA is unknown: it could bind fucose in decomposed plant matter to allow Aspergillus fumigatus to thrive in soil, or it may be a virulence factor that binds fucose in lung glycoproteins to cause Aspergillus fumigatus pneumonia. Our studies show that FleA protein and Aspergillus fumigatus conidia bind avidly to purified lung mucin glycoproteins in a fucose-dependent manner. In addition, FleA binds strongly to macrophage cell surface proteins, and macrophages bind and phagocytose fleA-deficient (∆fleA) conidia much less efficiently than wild type (WT) conidia. Furthermore, a potent fucopyranoside glycomimetic inhibitor of FleA inhibits binding and phagocytosis of WT conidia by macrophages, confirming the specific role of fucose binding in macrophage recognition of WT conidia. Finally, mice infected with ΔfleA conidia had more severe pneumonia and invasive aspergillosis than mice infected with WT conidia. These findings demonstrate that FleA is not a virulence factor for Aspergillus fumigatus. Instead, host recognition of FleA is a critical step in mechanisms of mucin binding, mucociliary clearance, and macrophage killing that prevent Aspergillus fumigatus pneumonia.

  11. Vitamin D Deficiency Causes Defective Resistance to Aspergillus fumigatus in Mice via Aggravated and Sustained Inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Li, Pei; Xu, Xiaoyong; Cao, Ehong; Yu, Bo; Li, Wanchun; Fan, Ming; Huang, Mei; Shi, Lining; Zeng, Rong

    2014-01-01

    Background Vitamin D plays an important role in pulmonary resistance and immunity, and its deficiency has been linked to various respiratory infections. Little is known about the effect of vitamin D deficiency on host pulmonary defense to Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus). Methods Mice raised on vitamin D sufficient or deficient diets were infected intratracheally with A. fumigatus conidia. Mortality, fungal growth, weight loss and lung histology were monitored. Alveolar macrophages (AMs) were stimulated with A. fumigatus conidia in vitro. The kinetics of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6), chemokines (CXCL1, CCL3), and pattern recognition receptors (Toll-like receptor [TLR] 2, TLR 4 and dectin-1) expression in the lungs and AMs were measured. Results Upon A. fumigatus infection, vitamin D deficient mice showed higher mortality, greater fungal load, and more weight loss than its sufficient counterparts. Vitamin D deficient mice demonstrated aggravated and prolonged histological evidence of lung inflammation as well as enhanced BAL cell counts, dominated by neutrophils after A. fumigatus inoculation. Increased basal levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the lungs and AMs from naïve vitamin D deficient mice were observed. Upon A. fumigatus exposure, vitamin D deficiency led to enhanced and sustained expression of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, CXCL1 and CCL3 both in vivo and in vitro. Up-regulation of TLR2, TLR4 and dectin-1was observed in the lungs and AMs from vitamin D deficient mice both at baseline and after A. fumigatus exposure. Conclusions Vitamin D deficiency causes defective pulmonary resistance to A. fumigatus in mice, possibly by the enhanced basal expression of pattern recognition receptors and pro-inflammatory cytokines, which induced excessive inflammatory response in response to A. fumigatus challenge. PMID:24926881

  12. Draft Genome Sequences of Two Aspergillus fumigatus Strains, Isolated from the International Space Station.

    PubMed

    Singh, Nitin Kumar; Blachowicz, Adriana; Checinska, Aleksandra; Wang, Clay; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2016-01-01

    Draft genome sequences of Aspergillus fumigatus strains (ISSFT-021 and IF1SW-F4), opportunistic pathogens isolated from the International Space Station (ISS), were assembled to facilitate investigations of the nature of the virulence characteristics of the ISS strains to other clinical strains isolated on Earth. PMID:27417828

  13. Effect of essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis on the lipid composition of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Ghfir, B; Fonvieille, J L; Koulali, Y; Ecalle, R; Dargent, R

    1994-06-01

    Addition of the essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis to the culture medium of Aspergillus fumigatus induced alterations in both growth and lipid composition of this mould. Total lipids and sterols were reduced, whereas total phospholipids were increased. There were alterations in the proportions of fatty acids, neutral lipid and phospholipid fractions.

  14. Effect of essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis on the lipid composition of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Ghfir, B; Fonvieille, J L; Koulali, Y; Ecalle, R; Dargent, R

    1994-06-01

    Addition of the essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis to the culture medium of Aspergillus fumigatus induced alterations in both growth and lipid composition of this mould. Total lipids and sterols were reduced, whereas total phospholipids were increased. There were alterations in the proportions of fatty acids, neutral lipid and phospholipid fractions. PMID:7935731

  15. Bacterium induces cryptic meroterpenoid pathway in the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    König, Claudia C; Scherlach, Kirstin; Schroeckh, Volker; Horn, Fabian; Nietzsche, Sandor; Brakhage, Axel A; Hertweck, Christian

    2013-05-27

    Stimulating encounter: The intimate, physical interaction between the soil-derived bacterium Streptomyces rapamycinicus and the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus led to the activation of an otherwise silent polyketide synthase (PKS) gene cluster coding for an unusual prenylated polyphenol (fumicycline A). The meroterpenoid pathway is regulated by a pathway-specific activator gene as well as by epigenetic factors.

  16. Draft Genome Sequences of Two Aspergillus fumigatus Strains, Isolated from the International Space Station.

    PubMed

    Singh, Nitin Kumar; Blachowicz, Adriana; Checinska, Aleksandra; Wang, Clay; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2016-07-14

    Draft genome sequences of Aspergillus fumigatus strains (ISSFT-021 and IF1SW-F4), opportunistic pathogens isolated from the International Space Station (ISS), were assembled to facilitate investigations of the nature of the virulence characteristics of the ISS strains to other clinical strains isolated on Earth.

  17. Characterization of a novel gene for strain typing reveals substructuring of Aspergillus fumigatus across North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fifty five epidemiologically linked Aspergillus fumigatus isolates obtained from six nosocomial outbreaks of invasive aspergillosis were sub-typed by sequencing the polymorphic region of the gene encoding a putative cell surface protein, Afu3g08990 (denoted as CSP). Comparative sequence analysis sh...

  18. Draft Genome Sequences of Two Aspergillus fumigatus Strains, Isolated from the International Space Station

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Nitin Kumar; Blachowicz, Adriana; Checinska, Aleksandra; Wang, Clay

    2016-01-01

    Draft genome sequences of Aspergillus fumigatus strains (ISSFT-021 and IF1SW-F4), opportunistic pathogens isolated from the International Space Station (ISS), were assembled to facilitate investigations of the nature of the virulence characteristics of the ISS strains to other clinical strains isolated on Earth. PMID:27417828

  19. Natural occurrence of gliotoxin in turkeys infected with Aspergillus fumigatus, Fresenius.

    PubMed

    Richard, J L; Dvorak, T J; Ross, P F

    1996-01-01

    Thirteen samples of infected turkey lung tissue from cases of 'airsacculitis' were collected either at the processing plant or from a local turkey farm and subjected to cultural and gliotoxin analysis. Aspergillus fumigatus was isolated from 6 of the 13 samples; all isolates were determined to be gliotoxin producers when grown in laboratory culture and assayed by HPLC procedures. Gliotoxin was isolated from 5 of the 13 tissue but was not isolated from all tissues that were infected with A. fumigatus. Gliotoxin was isolated from which no A. fumigatus was isolated and it was not detected in three tissues from which gliotoxin-producing isolates of A. fumigatus were obtained. The ability of this pathogenic fungs to produce this immunomodulating compound in naturally infected turkeys provides further evidence that gliotoxin may be involved in the pathogenesis of the disease, aspergillosis of turkeys. PMID:8981782

  20. Corticosteroids block autophagy protein recruitment in Aspergillus fumigatus phagosomes via targeting Dectin-1/syk kinase signaling

    PubMed Central

    Kyrmizi, Irene; Gresnigt, Mark S.; Akoumianaki, Tonia; Samonis, George; Sidiropoulos, Prodromos; Boumpas, Dimitrios; Netea, Mihai G; van de Veerdonk, Frank L; Kontoyiannis, Dimitrios P; Chamilos, Georgios

    2013-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the predominant airborne fungal pathogen in immunocompromised patients. Genetic defects in NADPH oxidase (chronic granulomatous disease; CGD) and corticosteroid-induced immunosupression lead to impaired killing of A. fumigatus and unique susceptibility to invasive aspergillosis via incompletely characterized mechanisms. Recent studies link Toll-like receptor activation with phagosome maturation via the engagement of autophagy proteins. Herein, we found that infection of human monocytes with A. fumigatus spores triggered selective recruitment of the autophagy protein LC3 II in phagosomes upon fungal cell wall swelling. This response was induced by surface exposure of immunostimulatory β-glucans and was mediated by activation of the Dectin-1 receptor. LC3 II recruitment in A. fumigatus-phagosomes required syk kinase-dependent production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and was nearly absent in monocytes of patients with CGD. This pathway was important for control of intracellular fungal growth, as silencing of Atg5 resulted in impaired phagosome maturation and killing of A. fumigatus. In-vivo and ex-vivo administration of corticosteroids blocked LC3 II recruitment in A. fumigatus phagosomes via rapid inhibition of syk kinase phosphorylation and downstream production of ROS. Our studies link Dectin-1/syk kinase signaling with maturation of A. fumigatus phagosomes and uncover a mechanism for development of invasive fungal disease. PMID:23817424

  1. Dynamic Immune Cell Recruitment After Murine Pulmonary Aspergillus fumigatus Infection under Different Immunosuppressive Regimens

    PubMed Central

    Kalleda, Natarajaswamy; Amich, Jorge; Arslan, Berkan; Poreddy, Spoorthi; Mattenheimer, Katharina; Mokhtari, Zeinab; Einsele, Hermann; Brock, Matthias; Heinze, Katrin Gertrud; Beilhack, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Humans are continuously exposed to airborne spores of the saprophytic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. However, in healthy individuals pulmonary host defense mechanisms efficiently eliminate the fungus. In contrast, A. fumigatus causes devastating infections in immunocompromised patients. Host immune responses against A. fumigatus lung infections in immunocompromised conditions have remained largely elusive. Given the dynamic changes in immune cell subsets within tissues upon immunosuppressive therapy, we dissected the spatiotemporal pulmonary immune response after A. fumigatus infection to reveal basic immunological events that fail to effectively control invasive fungal disease. In different immunocompromised murine models, myeloid, notably neutrophils, and macrophages, but not lymphoid cells were strongly recruited to the lungs upon infection. Other myeloid cells, particularly dendritic cells and monocytes, were only recruited to lungs of corticosteroid treated mice, which developed a strong pulmonary inflammation after infection. Lymphoid cells, particularly CD4+ or CD8+ T-cells and NK cells were highly reduced upon immunosuppression and not recruited after A. fumigatus infection. Moreover, adoptive CD11b+ myeloid cell transfer rescued cyclophosphamide immunosuppressed mice from lethal A. fumigatus infection but not cortisone and cyclophosphamide immunosuppressed mice. Our findings illustrate that CD11b+ myeloid cells are critical for anti-A. fumigatus defense under cyclophosphamide immunosuppressed conditions. PMID:27468286

  2. Hide, Keep Quiet, and Keep Low: Properties That Make Aspergillus fumigatus a Successful Lung Pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Escobar, Natalia; Ordonez, Soledad R.; Wösten, Han A. B.; Haas, Pieter-Jan A.; de Cock, Hans; Haagsman, Henk P.

    2016-01-01

    Representatives of the genus Aspergillus are opportunistic fungal pathogens. Their conidia can reach the alveoli by inhalation and can give rise to infections in immunocompromised individuals. Aspergillus fumigatus is the causal agent of invasive aspergillosis in nearly 90% of the cases. It is not yet well-established what makes this fungus more pathogenic than other aspergilli such as A. niger. Here, we show that A. fumigatus and A. niger conidia adhere with similar efficiency to lung epithelial A549 cells but A. fumigatus conidia internalized 17% more efficiently. Conidia of both aspergilli were taken up in phagolysosomes 8 h after the challenge. These organelles only acidified in the case of A. niger, which is probably due to the type of melanin coating of the conidia. Viability of both types of conidia was not affected after uptake in the phagolysosomes. Germination of A. fumigatus and A. niger conidia in the presence of epithelial cells was delayed when compared to conidia in the medium. However, germination of A. niger conidia was still higher than that of A. fumigatus 10 h after exposure to A549 cells. Remarkably, A. fumigatus hyphae grew mainly parallel to the epithelium, while growth direction of A. niger hyphae was predominantly perpendicular to the plane of the cells. Neutrophils reduced germination and hyphal growth of A. niger, but not of A fumigatus, in presence of epithelial cells. Taken together, efficient internalization, delayed germination, and hyphal growth parallel to the epithelium gives a new insight into what could be the causes for the success of A. fumigatus compared to A. niger as an opportunistic pathogen in the lung. PMID:27092115

  3. Intracranial aspergillus fumigatus infection complicated with cavernous hemangioma: case report and literature review

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yuxue; Yu, Jinlu; Li, Guihong; Huang, Haiyan

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to report a rare case of Aspergillus fumigatus infection complicated with cavernous hemangioma in the central nervous system of a patient with normal immune function and to investigate its causes. A 60-year-old male patient was admitted three years ago due to meningioma-induced convulsions. In addition to meningioma, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results also suggested the presence of cystic and solid lesions in the left temporal lobe, which was considered to be a brain abscess due to the infection. After antibiotic treatment, the patient underwent meningioma resection, after which no more convulsions occurred. It was recommended that the patient receive treatment on the abscess in the left temporal lobe, but the patient did not consent. He was discharged with follow-up. Recently, the patient returned for treatment due to intermittent headaches with weakness in the right lower extremity for 10 days. MRI results revealed that the lesion in the left temporal lobe had expanded and was associated with abnormality in the midline. Surgical lumpectomy was performed, and the postoperative pathological examination confirmed the brain abscess to be an Aspergillus fumigatus infection complicated with cavernous hemangioma, which indirectly confirmed that the lesion in the temporal lobe three years ago was from the Aspergillus fumigatus infection. On the 7th postoperative day, the patient died due to severe pneumonia. Because the intracranial Aspergillus fumigatus infection in the patient had lasted for three years, with no cavernous hemangioma present at the first assessment but with a lesion evident three years later, the hemangioma is considered to be related to the Aspergillus fumigatus infection. PMID:26884969

  4. Role of prostaglandin D2/CRTH2 pathway on asthma exacerbation induced by Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Haixia; Zheng, Mingrui; Qiao, Jianou; Dang, Yajie; Zhang, Pengyu; Jin, Xianqiao

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is often associated in asthmatic patients with the exacerbation of asthma symptoms. The pathomechanism of this phenomenon has not been fully understood. Here, we evaluated the immunological mechanisms and the role of the prostaglandin D2/ Chemoattractant Receptor-Homologous Molecule Expressed on Th2 Cells (CRTH2) pathway in the development of Aspergillus-associated asthma exacerbation. We studied the effects of A. fumigatus on airway inflammation and bronchial hyper-responsiveness in a rat model of chronic asthma. Inhalation delivery of A. fumigatus conidia increased the airway eosinophilia and bronchial hyper-responsiveness in ovalbumin-sensitized, challenged rats. These changes were associated with prostaglandin D2 synthesis and CRTH2 expression in the lungs. Direct inflammation occurred in ovalbumin-sensitized, challenged animals, whereas pre-treatment with an antagonist against CRTH2 nearly completely eliminated the A. fumigatus-induced worsening of airway eosinophilia and bronchial hyper-responsiveness. Our data demonstrate that production of prostaglandin D2 followed by eosinophil recruitment into the airways via a CRTH2 receptor are the major pathogenic factors responsible for the A. fumigatus-induced enhancement of airway inflammation and responsiveness. PMID:24329550

  5. Differentiation between Isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus from Breeding Turkeys and Their Environment by Genotyping with Microsatellite Markers

    PubMed Central

    Lair-Fulleringer, Sybille; Guillot, Jacques; Desterke, Christophe; Seguin, Dominique; Warin, Stephan; Bezille, Arnaud; Chermette, René; Bretagne, Stéphane

    2003-01-01

    To elucidate the epidemiology of the different forms of avian aspergillosis, 114 Aspergillus fumigatus isolates from sacrificed turkeys and 134 A. fumigatus isolates from air samples were collected and genotyped by microsatellite polymorphism marker analysis. Air sampling confirmed the huge diversity of A. fumigatus populations. Whereas older animals harbored several combinations of genotypes, 1-day-old chicks carried a unique genotype, suggesting a unique source of contamination. PMID:12682192

  6. Aspergillus oerlinghausenensis, a new mould species closely related to A. fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Houbraken, Jos; Weig, Michael; Groß, Uwe; Meijer, Martin; Bader, Oliver

    2016-02-01

    Two isolates belonging to Aspergillus section Fumigati were recovered from German soil on itraconazole containing agar media. Phylogenetic analysis and phenotypic characterization of both isolates show that they represent a novel species named Aspergillus oerlinghausenensis (holotype CBS H-22119(HT), ex-type CBS 139183(T) = IBT 33878 = DTO 316-A3). The species is phylogenetically related to A. fischeri and A. fumigatus. Aspergillus oerlinghausenensis can be differentiated from A. fischeri by its higher growth rate at 50°C. Furthermore, A. oerlinghausenensis is protoheterothallic as only the MAT1-1 idiomorph was detected, while A. fischeri is homothallic. The species differs from A. fumigatus by a weak sporulation on malt extract agar at 25°C, a floccose colony texture on Czapek yeast extract agar and malt extract agar and subglobose instead of subclavate vesicles. The cyp51A promoter region of A. oerlinghausenensis deviates from the previously reported cyp51A promoter regions in A. fumigatus and potentially presents a novel azole resistance conferring modification. Due to the close relationship of A. oerlinghausenensis with A. fischeri and A. fumigatus, this species is placed in a good position for comparative studies involving these species.

  7. Triazole fungicides and the selection of resistance to medical triazoles in the opportunistic mould Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Verweij, Paul E; Kema, Gert H J; Zwaan, Bas; Melchers, Willem J G

    2013-02-01

    Azole resistance is an emerging problem in the opportunistic mould Aspergillus fumigatus. The triazoles are the most important agents for the management of Aspergillus diseases in humans. Selection for acquired resistance may occur in the hospital setting through exposure to high doses of azoles during azole therapy, but evidence is accumulating that A. fumigatus may become resistant to medical triazoles through environmental exposure to fungicides. The recovery of A. fumigatus isolates resistant to the medical triazoles from azole-naive patients as well as from the environment strongly indicates an environmental route of resistance selection. Molecule alignment studies have identified five fungicides that share a very similar molecule structure with the medical triazoles, and thus may have selected for mechanisms that confer resistance to both groups of compounds. It is important to explore further the presumed fungicide-driven route of resistance selection in order to implement effective preventive measures as the prevalence of azole resistance in A. fumigatus continues to increase and causes major challenges in the management of azole-resistant Aspergillus diseases.

  8. Aspergillus lentulus sp. nov., a New Sibling Species of A. fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Balajee, S. Arunmozhi; Gribskov, Jennifer L.; Hanley, Edward; Nickle, David; Marr, Kieren A.

    2005-01-01

    In a prior study, we identified seven clinical isolates of an Aspergillus sp. that were slow to sporulate in multiple media and demonstrated decreased in vitro susceptibilities to multiple antifungals, including amphotericin B, itraconazole, voriconazole, and caspofungin. These isolates were initially considered to be variants of Aspergillus fumigatus because of differences in mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences and unique randomly amplified polymorphic DNA PCR patterns (S. A. Balajee, M. Weaver, A. Imhof, J. Gribskov, and K. A. Marr, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 48: 1197-1203, 2004). The present study was performed to clarify the taxonomic status of these organisms by phylogenetic analyses based on multilocus sequence typing of five genes (the β-tubulin gene, the rodlet A gene, the salt-responsive gene, the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, and the internal transcribed spacer regions). Results revealed that four of the seven variant isolates clustered together in a clade very distant from A. fumigatus and distinct from other members of the A. fumigatus group. This new clade, consisting of four members, was monophyletic with strong bootstrap support when the protein-encoding regions were analyzed, indicating a new species status under the phylogenetic species concept. Phenotype studies revealed that the variant isolate has smaller conidial heads with diminutive vesicles compared to A. fumigatus and is not able to survive at 48°C. Our findings suggest the presence of a previously unrecognized, potentially drug-resistant Aspergillus species that we designate A. lentulus. PMID:15755924

  9. eNose technology can detect and classify human pathogenic molds in vitro: a proof-of-concept study of Aspergillus fumigatus and Rhizopus oryzae.

    PubMed

    de Heer, K; Vonk, S I; Kok, M; Kolader, M; Zwinderman, A H; van Oers, M H J; Sterk, P J; Visser, C E

    2016-01-01

    Invasive pulmonary mold disease (IPMD) is often fatal in neutropenic patients. This is because IPMD is difficult to diagnose timely, especially when non-Aspergillus molds are the causative agent, as they are usually not associated with a positive galactomannan assay. In 2013 we showed that exhaled breath analysis might be used to diagnose invasive aspergillosis through profiling of patterns in exhaled volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by electronic nose (eNose) technology. The current study aimed to determine (1) whether molds can be discriminated from other microorganisms (using two mold species: Aspergillus fumigatus and a pathogenic mold not associated with a positive galactomannan assay, i.c. Rhizopus oryzae) and (2) whether both molds can be discriminated from each other. First, we cultured strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, A. fumigatus and R. oryzae in separate airtight bottles. We examined whether an eNose (Cyranose 320) could discriminate the headspaces of bottles with molds from those with bacteria/yeasts. Second, we examined whether an eNose could discriminate A. fumigatus and R. oryzae. Diagnostic algorithms were created using canonical discriminant analysis after principle component analysis. Primary outcome parameter was the validated accuracy. The eNose discriminated A. fumigatus from bacteria/yeasts with a cross-validated accuracy of 92.9% (sensitivity 95.2%, specificity 91.9%). The eNose had an accuracy (validated using split-half analysis) of 100% in discriminating A. fumigatus from R. oryzae. Our study suggests that an eNose can identify and classify molds in vitro. This warrants prospective in vivo studies aimed at detecting and classifying IPMD using exhaled breath. PMID:27447026

  10. cspA Influences Biofilm Formation and Drug Resistance in Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Zhongqi; Li, Zhe; Xu, Zongge; Li, Hongyan; Li, Lixiang; Ning, Cong; Ma, Lin; Xie, Xiangli; Wang, Guangyi; Yu, Huimei

    2015-01-01

    The microbial cell wall plays a crucial role in biofilm formation and drug resistance. cspA encodes a repeat-rich glycophosphatidylinositol-anchored cell wall protein in the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. To determine whether cspA has a significant impact on biofilm development and sensitivity to antifungal drugs in A. fumigatus, a ΔcspA mutant was constructed by targeted gene disruption, and we then reconstituted the mutant to wild type by homologous recombination of a functional cspA gene. Deletion of cspA resulted in a rougher conidial surface, reduced biofilm formation, decreased resistance to antifungal agents, and increased internalization by A549 human lung epithelial cells, suggesting that cspA not only participates in maintaining the integrity of the cell wall, but also affects biofilm establishment, drug response, and invasiveness of A. fumigatus. PMID:25821832

  11. Infection-Mediated Priming of Phagocytes Protects against Lethal Secondary Aspergillus fumigatus Challenge.

    PubMed

    Savers, Amélie; Rasid, Orhan; Parlato, Marianna; Brock, Matthias; Jouvion, Gregory; Ryffel, Bernhard; Cavaillon, Jean-Marc; Eberl, Gerard; Ibrahim-Granet, Oumaïma

    2016-01-01

    Phagocytes restrict the germination of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia and prevent the establishment of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in immunecompetent mice. Here we report that immunecompetent mice recovering from a primary A. fumigatus challenge are protected against a secondary lethal challenge. Using RAGγc knock-out mice we show that this protection is independent of T, B and NK cells. In protected mice, lung phagocytes are recruited more rapidly and are more efficient in conidial phagocytosis and killing. Protection was also associated with an enhanced expression of CXCR2 and Dectin-1 on bone marrow phagocytes. We also show that protective lung cytokine and chemokine responses are induced more rapidly and with enhanced dynamics in protected mice. Our findings support the hypothesis that following a first encounter with a non-lethal dose of A. fumigatus conidia, the innate immune system is primed and can mediate protection against a secondary lethal infection. PMID:27078879

  12. Volatile Compounds Emitted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa Stimulate Growth of the Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Briard, Benoit; Heddergott, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Chronic lung infections with opportunistic bacterial and fungal pathogens are a major cause of morbidity and mortality especially in patients with cystic fibrosis. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the most frequently colonizing bacterium in these patients, and it is often found in association with the filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. P. aeruginosa is known to inhibit the growth of A. fumigatus in situations of direct contact, suggesting the existence of interspecies communication that may influence disease outcome. Our study shows that the lung pathogens P. aeruginosa and A. fumigatus can interact at a distance via volatile-mediated communication and expands our understanding of interspecific signaling in microbial communities. PMID:26980832

  13. Bimodular Peptide Synthetase SidE Produces Fumarylalanine in the Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Steinchen, Wieland; Lackner, Gerald; Yasmin, Sabiha; Schrettl, Markus; Dahse, Hans-Martin

    2013-01-01

    The filamentous mold Aspergillus fumigatus causes invasive aspergillosis, a potentially life-threatening infectious disease, in humans. The sidE gene encodes a bimodular peptide synthetase and was shown previously to be strongly upregulated during initiation of murine lung infection. In this study, we characterized the two adenylation domains of SidE with the ATP-[32P]pyrophosphate exchange assay in vitro, which identified fumarate and l-alanine, respectively, as the preferred substrates. Using full-length holo-SidE, fumarylalanine (FA) formation was observed in vitro. Furthermore, FA was identified in A. fumigatus culture supernatants under inducing conditions, unless sidE was genetically inactivated. As FA is structurally related to established pharmaceutical products exerting immunomodulatory activity, this work may contribute to our understanding of the virulence of A. fumigatus. PMID:23974138

  14. Role of carbonic anhydrases in pathogenic micro-organisms: a focus on Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Tobal, Jaqueline Moisés; Balieiro, Márcia Eliana da Silva Ferreira

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a ubiquitous saprophytic fungus responsible for organic material decomposition, and plays an important role in recycling environmental carbon and nitrogen. Besides its important role in the environment, this fungus has been reported as one of the most important fungal pathogens in immunocompromised patients. Due to changes in CO2 concentration that some pathogens face during the infection process, studies have been undertaken to understand the pathogenic roles of carbonic anhydrases (CAs), well-known CO2 hydration catalytic enzymes. As a basis for a discussion of the possible roles of CAs in A. fumigatus pathogenicity, this review describes the main characteristics of the A. fumigatus infection and the challenges for its treatment. In addition, it gathers findings from studies with CA inhibitor drugs as anti-infective agents in different pathogens.

  15. Isolate-Dependent Growth, Virulence, and Cell Wall Composition in the Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Amarsaikhan, Nansalmaa; O’Dea, Evan M.; Tsoggerel, Angar; Owegi, Henry; Gillenwater, Jordan; Templeton, Steven P.

    2014-01-01

    The ubiquitous fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus is a mediator of allergic sensitization and invasive disease in susceptible individuals. The significant genetic and phenotypic variability between and among clinical and environmental isolates are important considerations in host-pathogen studies of A. fumigatus-mediated disease. We observed decreased radial growth, rate of germination, and ability to establish colony growth in a single environmental isolate of A. fumigatus, Af5517, when compared to other clinical and environmental isolates. Af5517 also exhibited increased hyphal diameter and cell wall β-glucan and chitin content, with chitin most significantly increased. Morbidity, mortality, lung fungal burden, and tissue pathology were decreased in neutropenic Af5517-infected mice when compared to the clinical isolate Af293. Our results support previous findings that suggest a correlation between in vitro growth rates and in vivo virulence, and we propose that changes in cell wall composition may contribute to this phenotype. PMID:24945802

  16. Experimental assessment of disinfection procedures for eradication of Aspergillus fumigatus in food.

    PubMed

    Gangneux, Jean-Pierre; Noussair, Latifa; Bouakline, Adel; Roux, Nicole; Lacroix, Claire; Derouin, Francis

    2004-10-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus spores in food may represent an infectious risk for neutropenic patients. We examined the efficiency of disinfection procedures applicable to foods for eradication of A fumigatus. Boiling and microwave treatment fully decontaminated an experimental spore suspension and naturally contaminated liquid foods (reconstituted dried food, herbal tea). Full decontamination of experimentally contaminated surfaces was only obtained with 70% ethanol or heating at 220 degrees C for 15 minutes. Pepper was decontaminated when heated for 15 minutes at 220 degrees C but not by microwaving. Fruit skin was partially decontaminated by 70% ethanol. We conclude that A fumigatus spores can be eradicated from food by heating to a temperature of at least 100 degrees C. When foods cannot be exposed to high temperature or microwaving, ethanol only partially reduces the level of surface contamination.

  17. Environmental study of azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus and other aspergilli in Austria, Denmark, and Spain.

    PubMed

    Mortensen, Klaus Leth; Mellado, Emilia; Lass-Flörl, Cornelia; Rodriguez-Tudela, Juan Luis; Johansen, Helle Krogh; Arendrup, Maiken Cavling

    2010-11-01

    A single mechanism of azole resistance was shown to predominate in clinical and environmental Aspergillus fumigatus isolates from the Netherlands, and a link to the use of azoles in the environment was suggested. To explore the prevalence of azole-resistant A. fumigatus and other aspergilli in the environment in other European countries, we collected samples from the surroundings of hospitals in Copenhagen, Innsbruck, and Madrid, flowerbeds in an amusement park in Copenhagen, and compost bags purchased in Austria, Denmark, and Spain and screened for azole resistance using multidish agars with itraconazole, voriconazole, and posaconazole. EUCAST method E.DEF 9.1 was used to confirm azole resistance. The promoter and entire coding sequence of the cyp51A gene were sequenced to identify azole-resistant A. fumigatus isolates. A. fumigatus was recovered in 144 out of 185 samples (77.8%). Four A. fumigatus isolates from four Danish soil samples displayed elevated azole MICs (8%), and all harbored the same TR/L98H mutation of cyp51A. One A. lentulus isolate with voriconazole MIC of 4 mg/liter was detected in Spain. No azole-resistant aspergilli were detected in compost. Finally, A. terreus was present in seven samples from Austria. Multi-azole-resistant A. fumigatus is present in the environment in Denmark. The resistance mechanism is identical to that of environmental isolates in the Netherlands. No link to commercial compost could be detected. In Spain and Austria, only Aspergillus species with intrinsic resistance to either azoles or amphotericin B were found.

  18. Conidial Dihydroxynaphthalene Melanin of the Human Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus Interferes with the Host Endocytosis Pathway.

    PubMed

    Thywißen, Andreas; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Dahse, Hans-Martin; Schmaler-Ripcke, Jeannette; Nietzsche, Sandor; Zipfel, Peter F; Brakhage, Axel A

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important air-borne fungal pathogen of humans. The interaction of the pathogen with the host's immune system represents a key process to understand pathogenicity. For elimination of invading microorganisms, they need to be efficiently phagocytosed and located in acidified phagolysosomes. However, as shown previously, A. fumigatus is able to manipulate the formation of functional phagolysosomes. Here, we demonstrate that in contrast to pigmentless pksP mutant conidia of A. fumigatus, the gray-green wild-type conidia inhibit the acidification of phagolysosomes of alveolar macrophages, monocyte-derived macrophages, and human neutrophil granulocytes. Therefore, this inhibition is independent of the cell type and applies to the major immune effector cells required for defense against A. fumigatus. Studies with melanin ghosts indicate that the inhibitory effect of wild-type conidia is due to their dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin covering the conidia, whereas the hydrophobin RodA rodlet layer plays no role in this process. This is also supported by the observation that pksP conidia still exhibit the RodA hydrophobin layer, as shown by scanning electron microscopy. Mutants defective in different steps of the DHN-melanin biosynthesis showed stronger inhibition than pksP mutant conidia but lower inhibition than wild-type conidia. Moreover, A. fumigatus and A. flavus led to a stronger inhibition of phagolysosomal acidification than A. nidulans and A. terreus. These data indicate that a certain type of DHN-melanin that is different in the various Aspergillus species, is required for maximal inhibition of phagolysosomal acidification. Finally, we identified the vacuolar ATPase (vATPase) as potential target for A. fumigatus based on the finding that addition of bafilomycin which inhibits vATPase, led to complete inhibition of the acidification whereas the fusion of phagosomes containing wild-type conidia and lysosomes was not affected.

  19. Screening-based discovery of Aspergillus fumigatus plant-type chitinase inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Lockhart, Deborah E.A.; Schuettelkopf, Alexander; Blair, David E.; van Aalten, Daan M.F.

    2014-01-01

    A limited therapeutic arsenal against increasing clinical disease due to Aspergillus spp. necessitates urgent characterisation of new antifungal targets. Here we describe the discovery of novel, low micromolar chemical inhibitors of Aspergillus fumigatus family 18 plant-type chitinase A1 (AfChiA1) by high-throughput screening (HTS). Analysis of the binding mode by X-ray crystallography confirmed competitive inhibition and kinetic studies revealed two compounds with selectivity towards fungal plant-type chitinases. These inhibitors provide new chemical tools to probe the effects of chitinase inhibition on A. fumigatus growth and virulence, presenting attractive starting points for the development of further potent drug-like molecules. PMID:25063338

  20. [Aspergillus fumigatus mediastinitis in an immunocompetent pediatric patient after heart surgery].

    PubMed

    Acuña, Mirta; Farfán, Felipe; Cofré, Fernanda; Benadof, Dona

    2016-02-01

    Postsurgical aspergillosis occurs primarily in immunocompetent patients whose main predisposing factor is the loss of skin and mucosal integrity during surgery. Local infection tends to be destructive and refractory to treatment and relapses are common. It is important to consider aspergillosis in the differential diagnosis of slowly progressive and destructive surgical site infections with negative bacterial cultures. We present the case of a child who developed Aspergillus fumigatus mediastinitis months after heart surgery.

  1. Secondary metabolites from Aspergillus fumigatus, an endophytic fungus from the liverwort Heteroscyphus tener (Steph.) Schiffn.

    PubMed

    Xie, Fei; Li, Xiao-Bin; Zhou, Jin-Chuan; Xu, Qing-Qing; Wang, Xiao-Ning; Yuan, Hui-Qing; Lou, Hong-Xiang

    2015-09-01

    Three new metabolites, asperfumigatin (1), isochaetominine (10), and 8'-O-methylasterric acid (21), together with nineteen known compounds, were obtained from the culture of Aspergillus fumigatus, an endophytic fungus from the Chinese liverwort Heteroscyphus tener (Steph.) Schiffn. Their structures were established by extensive analysis of the spectroscopic data. The absolute configurations of 1 and 10 were determined by analysis of their respective CD spectra. Cytotoxicity of these isolates against four human cancer cell lines was also determined. PMID:26363876

  2. [Virulence and biochemical activity of Aspergillus fumigatus strains isolated from cow fetuses].

    PubMed

    Venev, S

    1977-01-01

    Tested was the virulence of 20 strains of Aspergillus fumigatus isolated from cow fetuses. All laboratory mice injected with them died, and the pregnant guinea pigs aborted. It was demonstrated that these strains contain exogenic and endotoxic substances which are extracted effectively with alcohol and ether. The mould cultures showed proteolytic, amylolytic, cellulose, and organic acid activity. The biochemical and pathogenic potential of the strains were of great importance for causing abortion. PMID:339512

  3. Oxidative burst and neutrophil elastase contribute to clearance of Aspergillus fumigatus pneumonia in mice.

    PubMed

    Prüfer, Steve; Weber, Michael; Stein, Pamela; Bosmann, Markus; Stassen, Michael; Kreft, Andreas; Schild, Hansjörg; Radsak, Markus P

    2014-02-01

    Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) are important for the control of invasive aspergillosis (IA), a major threat to immunocompromised individuals. For clearance of Aspergillus fumigatus infections, PMN employ their potent oxidative and non-oxidative mechanisms. To clarify the relative contribution of these mechanisms, we analyzed p47(phox-/-), gp91(phox-/-) and elastase (ELA) deficient mice (ELANE) after intratracheal infection with A. fumigatus. Infected p47(phox-/-) and gp91(phox-/-) mice died within 4 days and had a significant higher fungal burden in the lungs compared to wild-type controls. Interestingly, the survival of ELANE mice after infection was unimpaired suggesting that ELA is not essential here. Nevertheless, A. fumigatus clearance was delayed in ELANE mice indicating a partial contribution of ELA to fungal immunity. Comparing p47(phox-/-), gp91(phox-/-) or ELANE mice for PMN activation and recruitment to the lungs, we were unable to detect significant differences in vitro or in vivo among mutant or wild-type strains suggesting intact PMN functionality of basic effector mechanisms. Fungal killing in vitro by ELA deficient PMN was comparably reduced as in p47(phox-/-) and gp91(phox-/-) deficient PMN corroborating the importance of oxidative and non-oxidative PMN mechanisms for the control of fungal outgrowth. Taken together, this suggests that intact oxidative as well as non-oxidative PMN effector functions are highly relevant for the control of A. fumigatus infections in vitro and in vivo. While ELA contributes to clearance of A. fumigatus, the oxidative functions are essential for survival.

  4. Genomic sequence of the pathogenic and allergenic filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Nierman, William C; Pain, Arnab; Anderson, Michael J; Wortman, Jennifer R; Kim, H Stanley; Arroyo, Javier; Berriman, Matthew; Abe, Keietsu; Archer, David B; Bermejo, Clara; Bennett, Joan; Bowyer, Paul; Chen, Dan; Collins, Matthew; Coulsen, Richard; Davies, Robert; Dyer, Paul S; Farman, Mark; Fedorova, Nadia; Fedorova, Natalie; Feldblyum, Tamara V; Fischer, Reinhard; Fosker, Nigel; Fraser, Audrey; García, Jose L; García, Maria J; Goble, Arlette; Goldman, Gustavo H; Gomi, Katsuya; Griffith-Jones, Sam; Gwilliam, Ryan; Haas, Brian; Haas, Hubertus; Harris, David; Horiuchi, H; Huang, Jiaqi; Humphray, Sean; Jiménez, Javier; Keller, Nancy; Khouri, Hoda; Kitamoto, Katsuhiko; Kobayashi, Tetsuo; Konzack, Sven; Kulkarni, Resham; Kumagai, Toshitaka; Lafon, Anne; Lafton, Anne; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Li, Weixi; Lord, Angela; Lu, Charles; Majoros, William H; May, Gregory S; Miller, Bruce L; Mohamoud, Yasmin; Molina, Maria; Monod, Michel; Mouyna, Isabelle; Mulligan, Stephanie; Murphy, Lee; O'Neil, Susan; Paulsen, Ian; Peñalva, Miguel A; Pertea, Mihaela; Price, Claire; Pritchard, Bethan L; Quail, Michael A; Rabbinowitsch, Ester; Rawlins, Neil; Rajandream, Marie-Adele; Reichard, Utz; Renauld, Hubert; Robson, Geoffrey D; Rodriguez de Córdoba, Santiago; Rodríguez-Peña, Jose M; Ronning, Catherine M; Rutter, Simon; Salzberg, Steven L; Sanchez, Miguel; Sánchez-Ferrero, Juan C; Saunders, David; Seeger, Kathy; Squares, Rob; Squares, Steven; Takeuchi, Michio; Tekaia, Fredj; Turner, Geoffrey; Vazquez de Aldana, Carlos R; Weidman, Janice; White, Owen; Woodward, John; Yu, Jae-Hyuk; Fraser, Claire; Galagan, James E; Asai, Kiyoshi; Machida, Masayuki; Hall, Neil; Barrell, Bart; Denning, David W

    2005-12-22

    Aspergillus fumigatus is exceptional among microorganisms in being both a primary and opportunistic pathogen as well as a major allergen. Its conidia production is prolific, and so human respiratory tract exposure is almost constant. A. fumigatus is isolated from human habitats and vegetable compost heaps. In immunocompromised individuals, the incidence of invasive infection can be as high as 50% and the mortality rate is often about 50% (ref. 2). The interaction of A. fumigatus and other airborne fungi with the immune system is increasingly linked to severe asthma and sinusitis. Although the burden of invasive disease caused by A. fumigatus is substantial, the basic biology of the organism is mostly obscure. Here we show the complete 29.4-megabase genome sequence of the clinical isolate Af293, which consists of eight chromosomes containing 9,926 predicted genes. Microarray analysis revealed temperature-dependent expression of distinct sets of genes, as well as 700 A. fumigatus genes not present or significantly diverged in the closely related sexual species Neosartorya fischeri, many of which may have roles in the pathogenicity phenotype. The Af293 genome sequence provides an unparalleled resource for the future understanding of this remarkable fungus. PMID:16372009

  5. Berberine and itraconazole are not synergistic in vitro against Aspergillus fumigatus isolated from clinical patients.

    PubMed

    Lei, Gao; Dan, He; Jinhua, Liu; Wei, Yan; Song, Gao; Li, Wang

    2011-11-03

    The incidence of Aspergillus fumigatus infections has become more frequent as a consequence of widespread immunosuppression. At present, the number of available antifungal agents in the clinic is limited, and most of them, such as itraconazole (ICZ), are toxic and show resistance. Berberine (BER) is a plant alkaloid used in the clinic mainly for alimentary infections. We have used BER and ICZ to measure in vitro resistance in A. fumigatus isolated from clinical patients. The minimum inhibitory concentration ranges of BER and ICZ were 4-256 and 0.031-0.250 μg/mL, respectively. In addition, against A. fumigatus IFM 40808 strain, the MIC₅₀ values of BER and ICZ were 8 and 0.125 μg/mL. Using this strain, we compared the giant colonies with or without BER, and concluded that BER could restrain A. fumigatus mycelial growth and conidial pigment production. Combinations of the two drugs were also tested by the checkerboard assay to identify any functional interactions between them. Thirty-two out of 42 isolates had FICI values > 4.0, indicating that two drugs were mutually antagonistic. In conclusion, it is not advised that BER and ICZ be used in the clinic at the same time. Our results indicated that BER may inhibit A. fumigatus through the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway, like ICZ.

  6. Heterogeneity among Isolates Reveals that Fitness in Low Oxygen Correlates with Aspergillus fumigatus Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Kowalski, Caitlin H.; Beattie, Sarah R.; Fuller, Kevin K.; McGurk, Elizabeth A.; Tang, Yi-Wei; Hohl, Tobias M.; Obar, Joshua J.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Previous work has shown that environmental and clinical isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus represent a diverse population that occupies a variety of niches, has extensive genetic diversity, and exhibits virulence heterogeneity in a number of animal models of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). However, mechanisms explaining differences in virulence among A. fumigatus isolates remain enigmatic. Here, we report a significant difference in virulence of two common lab strains, CEA10 and AF293, in the murine triamcinolone immunosuppression model of IPA, in which we previously identified severe low oxygen microenvironments surrounding fungal lesions. Therefore, we hypothesize that the ability to thrive within these lesions of low oxygen promotes virulence of A. fumigatus in this model. To test this hypothesis, we performed in vitro fitness and in vivo virulence analyses in the triamcinolone murine model of IPA with 14 environmental and clinical isolates of A. fumigatus. Among these isolates, we observed a strong correlation between fitness in low oxygen in vitro and virulence. In further support of our hypothesis, experimental evolution of AF293, a strain that exhibits reduced fitness in low oxygen and reduced virulence in the triamcinolone model of IPA, results in a strain (EVOL20) that has increased hypoxia fitness and a corresponding increase in virulence. Thus, the ability to thrive in low oxygen correlates with virulence of A. fumigatus isolates in the context of steroid-mediated murine immunosuppression. PMID:27651366

  7. Aspergillus fumigatus in the cystic fibrosis lung: pros and cons of azole therapy

    PubMed Central

    Burgel, Pierre-Régis; Paugam, André; Hubert, Dominique; Martin, Clémence

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the main fungus cultured in the airways of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis occurs in ~10% of CF patients and is clearly associated with airway damage and lung function decline. The effects of A. fumigatus colonization in the absence of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis are less well established. Retrospective clinical studies found associations of A. fumigatus-positive cultures with computed tomography scan abnormalities, greater risk of CF exacerbations and hospitalizations, and/or lung function decline. These findings were somewhat variable among studies and provided only circumstantial evidence for a role of A. fumigatus colonization in CF lung disease progression. The availability of a growing number of oral antifungal triazole drugs, together with the results of nonrandomized case series suggesting positive effects of azole therapies, makes it tempting to treat CF patients with these antifungal drugs. However, the only randomized controlled trial that has used itraconazole in CF patients showed no significant benefit. Because triazoles may have significant adverse effects and drug interactions, and because their prolonged use has been associated with the emergence of azole-resistant A. fumigatus isolates, it remains unclear whether or not CF patients benefit from azole therapy. PMID:27703383

  8. The Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus Regulates Growth, Metabolism, and Stress Resistance in Response to Light

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, Kevin K.; Ringelberg, Carol S.; Loros, Jennifer J.; Dunlap, Jay C.

    2013-01-01

    ABSTRACT Light is a pervasive environmental factor that regulates development, stress resistance, and even virulence in numerous fungal species. Though much research has focused on signaling pathways in Aspergillus fumigatus, an understanding of how this pathogen responds to light is lacking. In this report, we demonstrate that the fungus does indeed respond to both blue and red portions of the visible spectrum. Included in the A. fumigatus light response is a reduction in conidial germination rates, increased hyphal pigmentation, enhanced resistance to acute ultraviolet and oxidative stresses, and an increased susceptibility to cell wall perturbation. By performing gene deletion analyses, we have found that the predicted blue light receptor LreA and red light receptor FphA play unique and overlapping roles in regulating the described photoresponsive behaviors of A. fumigatus. However, our data also indicate that the photobiology of this fungus is complex and likely involves input from additional photosensory pathways beyond those analyzed here. Finally, whole-genome microarray analysis has revealed that A. fumigatus broadly regulates a variety of metabolic genes in response to light, including those involved in respiration, amino acid metabolism, and metal homeostasis. Together, these data demonstrate the importance of the photic environment on the physiology of A. fumigatus and provide a basis for future studies into this unexplored area of its biology. PMID:23532976

  9. Aspergillus fumigatus mycovirus causes mild hypervirulent effect on pathogenicity when tested on Galleria mellonella.

    PubMed

    Özkan, Selin; Coutts, Robert H A

    2015-03-01

    Mycoviruses are a specific group of viruses that naturally infect and replicate in fungi. The importance of mycoviruses was revealed after their effects were identified not only in economically important fungi but also in the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. The latter was shown recently to harbor at least three different types of mycoviruses including a chrysovirus, a partitivirus and an as yet uncharacterized virus. Assessment of virulence in the presence and absence of mycoviruses in A. fumigatus is pivotal to understanding its pathogenicity. Here, we have investigated, for the first time, the effects of mycoviruses on the pathogenicity of A. fumigatus as assessed using larvae of the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella. In order to observe the effects of mycoviruses on pathogenicity, G. mellonella were injected with virus-free and virus-infected isolates of A. fumigatus and post-infection survival times were analyzed along with the fungal burden. Neither chrysovirus nor partitivirus infection affected fungal pathogenicity when survival rates were assessed which, for the chrysovirus, agreed with a previous study on murine pathogenicity. However statistically significant differences were observed in survival rates and fungal burden in the presence of the uncharacterized A78 virus. Here we show, for the first time, the effects of a partitivirus and an uncharacterized A78 virus on the pathogenicity of A. fumigatus. PMID:25626171

  10. What do we know about the role of gliotoxin in the pathobiology of Aspergillus fumigatus?

    PubMed Central

    Kwon-Chung, Kyung J.; Sugui, Janyce A.

    2009-01-01

    Gliotoxin is a member of the epipolythiodioxopiperazine class of toxins and is both the major and the most potent toxin produced by Aspergillus fumigatus. Since the discovery of the putative gliotoxin biosynthetic 12-gene cluster in the genome of A. fumigatus, five different laboratories have attempted to determine the role of this toxin in the virulence of A. fumigatus. The genes in the cluster that have been disrupted to study the pathobiological importance of gliotoxin include gliZ that encodes a transcription factor and gliP that encodes a nonribosomal peptide synthase. Two of the five laboratories have reported gliotoxin to be an important virulence determinant of A. fumigatus, while the other three laboratories have shown it to be unimportant. Comparisons of the data generated among the five laboratories revealed that the immunosuppressive regimen used for mice was the key factor that contributed to the observed disparity. Regardless of either the mouse strains used or the route of infection, immunosuppression with a combination of cyclophosphamide and corticosteroids (neutropenic mice) showed gliotoxin to be unimportant. The mice immunosuppressed with corticosteroids alone, however, revealed that gliotoxin is an important virulence determinant of A. fumigatus. These studies indicate that the neutropenic mice model is inadequate to reveal the pathobiological importance of fungal secondary metabolites in invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. PMID:18608908

  11. Determination of antifungal susceptibility patterns among the environmental isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus in Iran

    PubMed Central

    Mohammadi, Faezeh; Dehghan, Parvin; Nekoeian, Shahram; Hashemi, Seyed Jamal

    2016-01-01

    Background: In recent years, triazole-resistant environmental isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus have emerged in Europe and Asia. Azole resistance has been reported in patients who are treated with long-term azole therapy or exposure of the fungus spores to the azole fungicides used in agriculture. To date, a wide range of mutations in A. fumigatus have been described conferring azole-resistance, which commonly involves modifications in the cyp51A gene. We investigated antifungal susceptibility pattern of environmental isolates of A. fumigatus. Materials and Methods: In this study, 170 environmental samples collected from indoors surfaces of three hospitals in Iran. It was used β-tubulin gene to confirm the all of A. fumigatus isolates, which was identified by conventional methods. Furthermore, the antifungal susceptibility of itraconazole, voriconazole, and posaconazole was investigated using broth microdilution test, according to European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility testing reference method. Results: From a total of 158 environmental molds fungi obtained from the hospitals, 58 isolates were identified as A. fumigatus by amplification of expected size of β-tubulin gene (~500 bp). In this study, in vitro antifungal susceptibility testing has shown that there were not high minimum inhibitory concentration values of triazole antifungals in all of the 58 environmental isolates of A. fumigatus. Conclusion: Our findings demonstrated that there was not azole-resistant among environmental isolates of A. fumigatus. Medical triazoles compounds have structural similarity with triazole fungicide compounds in agriculture, therefore, resistance development through exposure to triazole fungicide compounds in the environment is important but it sounds there is not a serious health problem in drug resistance in environmental isolates in Iran.

  12. Determination of antifungal susceptibility patterns among the environmental isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus in Iran

    PubMed Central

    Mohammadi, Faezeh; Dehghan, Parvin; Nekoeian, Shahram; Hashemi, Seyed Jamal

    2016-01-01

    Background: In recent years, triazole-resistant environmental isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus have emerged in Europe and Asia. Azole resistance has been reported in patients who are treated with long-term azole therapy or exposure of the fungus spores to the azole fungicides used in agriculture. To date, a wide range of mutations in A. fumigatus have been described conferring azole-resistance, which commonly involves modifications in the cyp51A gene. We investigated antifungal susceptibility pattern of environmental isolates of A. fumigatus. Materials and Methods: In this study, 170 environmental samples collected from indoors surfaces of three hospitals in Iran. It was used β-tubulin gene to confirm the all of A. fumigatus isolates, which was identified by conventional methods. Furthermore, the antifungal susceptibility of itraconazole, voriconazole, and posaconazole was investigated using broth microdilution test, according to European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility testing reference method. Results: From a total of 158 environmental molds fungi obtained from the hospitals, 58 isolates were identified as A. fumigatus by amplification of expected size of β-tubulin gene (~500 bp). In this study, in vitro antifungal susceptibility testing has shown that there were not high minimum inhibitory concentration values of triazole antifungals in all of the 58 environmental isolates of A. fumigatus. Conclusion: Our findings demonstrated that there was not azole-resistant among environmental isolates of A. fumigatus. Medical triazoles compounds have structural similarity with triazole fungicide compounds in agriculture, therefore, resistance development through exposure to triazole fungicide compounds in the environment is important but it sounds there is not a serious health problem in drug resistance in environmental isolates in Iran. PMID:27656605

  13. Aspergillus fumigatus CY018, an endophytic fungus in Cynodon dactylon as a versatile producer of new and bioactive metabolites.

    PubMed

    Liu, J Y; Song, Y C; Zhang, Z; Wang, L; Guo, Z J; Zou, W X; Tan, R X

    2004-11-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus CY018 was recognized as an endophytic fungus for the first time in the leaf of Cynodon dactylon. By bioassay-guided fractionation, the EtOAc extract of a solid-matrix steady culture of this fungus afforded two new metabolites, named asperfumoid (1) and asperfumin (2), together with six known bioactive compounds including monomethylsulochrin, fumigaclavine C, fumitremorgin C, physcion, helvolic acid and 5alpha,8alpha-epidioxy-ergosta-6,22-diene-3beta-ol as well as other four known compounds ergosta-4,22-diene-3beta-ol, ergosterol, cyclo(Ala-Leu) and cyclo(Ala-Ile). Through detailed spectroscopic analyses including HRESI-MS, homo- and hetero-nuclear correlation NMR experiments (HMQC, COSY, NOESY and HMBC), the structures of asperfumoid and asperfumin were established to be spiro-(3-hydroxyl-2,6-dimethoxyl-2,5-diene-4-cyclohexone-(1,3')-5'-methoxyl-7'-methyl-(1'H, 2'H, 4'H)-quinoline-2',4'-dione) and 5-hydroxyl-2-(6-hydroxyl-2-methoxyl-4-methylbenzoyl)-3,6-dimethoxyl-benzoic methyl ester, respectively. All of the 12 isolates were subjected to in vitro bioactive assays against three human pathogenic fungi Candida albicans, Tricophyton rubrum and Aspergillus niger. As a result, asperfumoid, fumigaclavine C, fumitremorgin C, physcion and helvolic acid were shown to inhibit C. albicans with MICs of 75.0, 31.5, 62.5, 125.0 and 31.5 microg/mL, respectively. PMID:15522437

  14. Morphological effects of lipopeptides against Aspergillus fumigatus correlate with activities against (1,3)-beta-D-glucan synthase.

    PubMed Central

    Kurtz, M B; Heath, I B; Marrinan, J; Dreikorn, S; Onishi, J; Douglas, C

    1994-01-01

    The lipopeptide antifungal agents, echinocandins, papulacandins, and pneumocandins, kill Candida albicans by inhibiting glucan synthesis. For this fungus, there is a good correlation of in vitro enzyme inhibition with in vitro assays of MICs. Semisynthetic lipopeptides such as cilofungin, LY303366, L-693,989, and L-733,560 have activity in vivo against Aspergillus infections but appear to be inactive in broth dilution in vitro tests (MICs, > 128 micrograms/ml). To understand how compounds which lack activity in vitro can have good in vivo activity, we monitored the effect of pneumocandins on the morphology of Aspergillus fumigatus and A, flavus strains by light microscopy and electron microscopy and related the changes in growth to inhibition of glucan synthesis. Pneumocandin B0 caused profound changes in hyphal growth; light micrographs showed abnormally swollen germ tubes, highly branched hyphal tips, and many cells with distended balloon shapes. Aspergillus electron micrographs confirmed that lipopeptides produce changes in cell walls; drug-treated germlings showed very stubby growth with thick walls and a conspicuous dark outer layer which was much thicker in the subapical regions. The rest of the hyphal tip ultrastructure was unaffected by the drug, indicating considerable specificity for the primary target. The drug-induced growth alteration produced very compact clumps in broth dilution wells, making it possible to score the morphological effect macroscopically. The morphological changes could be assayed quantitatively by using conventional broth microdilution susceptibility assay conditions. We defined the endpoint as the lowest concentration required to produce the morphological effect and called it the minimum effective concentration to distinguish it from the no-growth endpoints used in MIC determinations. The minimum effective concentration assay was related to inhibition of glucan synthase activity in vitro and may provide a starting point for

  15. Dsc orthologs are required for hypoxia adaptation, triazole drug responses, and fungal virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Willger, Sven D; Cornish, E Jean; Chung, Dawoon; Fleming, Brittany A; Lehmann, Margaret M; Puttikamonkul, Srisombat; Cramer, Robert A

    2012-12-01

    Hypoxia is an environmental stress encountered by Aspergillus fumigatus during invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). The ability of this mold to adapt to hypoxia is important for fungal virulence and genetically regulated in part by the sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP) SrbA. SrbA is required for fungal growth in the murine lung and to ultimately cause lethal disease in murine models of IPA. Here we identified and partially characterized four genes (dscA, dscB, dscC, and dscD, here referred to as dscA-D) with previously unknown functions in A. fumigatus that are orthologs of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe genes dsc1, dsc2, dsc3, and dsc4 (dsc1-4), which encode a Golgi E3 ligase complex critical for SREBP activation by proteolytic cleavage. A. fumigatus null dscA-D mutants displayed remarkable defects in hypoxic growth and increased susceptibility to triazole antifungal drugs. Consistent with the confirmed role of these genes in S. pombe, both ΔdscA and ΔdscC resulted in reduced cleavage of the SrbA precursor protein in A. fumigatus. Inoculation of corticosteroid immunosuppressed mice with ΔdscA and ΔdscC strains revealed that these genes are critical for A. fumigatus virulence. Reintroduction of SrbA amino acids 1 to 425, encompassing the N terminus DNA binding domain, into the ΔdscA strain was able to partially restore virulence, further supporting a mechanistic link between DscA and SrbA function. Thus, we have shown for the first time the importance of a previously uncharacterized group of genes in A. fumigatus that mediate hypoxia adaptation, fungal virulence, and triazole drug susceptibility and that are likely linked to regulation of SrbA function. PMID:23104569

  16. Phagocytosis of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia by primary nasal epithelial cells in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Botterel, Françoise; Gross, Karine; Ibrahim-Granet, Oumaïma; Khoufache, Khaled; Escabasse, Virginie; Coste, André; Cordonnier, Catherine; Escudier, Estelle; Bretagne, Stéphane

    2008-01-01

    Background Invasive aspergillosis, which is mainly caused by the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, is an increasing problem in immunocompromised patients. Infection occurs by inhalation of airborne conidia, which are first encountered by airway epithelial cells. Internalization of these conidia into the epithelial cells could serve as a portal of entry for this pathogenic fungus. Results We used an in vitro model of primary cultures of human nasal epithelial cells (HNEC) at an air-liquid interface. A. fumigatus conidia were compared to Penicillium chrysogenum conidia, a mould that is rarely responsible for invasive disease. Confocal microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and anti-LAMP1 antibody labeling studies showed that conidia of both species were phagocytosed and trafficked into a late endosomal-lysosomal compartment as early as 4 h post-infection. In double immunolabeling experiments, the mean percentage of A. fumigatus conidia undergoing phagocytosis 4 h post-infection was 21.8 ± 4.5%. Using combined staining with a fluorescence brightener and propidium iodide, the mean rate of phagocytosis was 18.7 ± 9.3% and the killing rate 16.7 ± 7.5% for A. fumigatus after 8 h. The phagocytosis rate did not differ between the two fungal species for a given primary culture. No germination of the conidia was observed until 20 h of observation. Conclusion HNEC can phagocytose fungal conidia but killing of phagocytosed conidia is low, although the spores do not germinate. This phagocytosis does not seem to be specific to A. fumigatus. Other immune cells or mechanisms are required to kill A. fumigatus conidia and to avoid further invasion. PMID:18564423

  17. Validation of a new Aspergillus real-time PCR assay for direct detection of Aspergillus and azole resistance of Aspergillus fumigatus on bronchoalveolar lavage fluid.

    PubMed

    Chong, Ga-Lai M; van de Sande, Wendy W J; Dingemans, Gijs J H; Gaajetaan, Giel R; Vonk, Alieke G; Hayette, Marie-Pierre; van Tegelen, Dennis W E; Simons, Guus F M; Rijnders, Bart J A

    2015-03-01

    Azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus is increasingly reported. Here, we describe the validation of the AsperGenius, a new multiplex real-time PCR assay consisting of two multiplex real-time PCRs, one that identifies the clinically relevant Aspergillus species, and one that detects the TR34, L98H, T289A, and Y121F mutations in CYP51A and differentiates susceptible from resistant A. fumigatus strains. The diagnostic performance of the AsperGenius assay was tested on 37 bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid samples from hematology patients and 40 BAL fluid samples from intensive care unit (ICU) patients using a BAL fluid galactomannan level of ≥1.0 or positive culture as the gold standard for detecting the presence of Aspergillus. In the hematology and ICU groups combined, there were 22 BAL fluid samples from patients with invasive aspergillosis (IA) (2 proven, 9 probable, and 11 nonclassifiable). Nineteen of the 22 BAL fluid samples were positive, according to the gold standard. The optimal cycle threshold value for the presence of Aspergillus was <36. Sixteen of the 19 BAL fluid samples had a positive PCR (2 Aspergillus species and 14 A. fumigatus samples). This resulted in a sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of 88.9%, 89.3%, 72.7%, and 96.2%, respectively, for the hematology group and 80.0%, 93.3%, 80.0%, and 93.3%, respectively, in the ICU group. The CYP51A real-time PCR confirmed 12 wild-type and 2 resistant strains (1 TR34-L98H and 1 TR46-Y121F-T289A mutant). Voriconazole therapy failed for both patients. The AsperGenius multiplex real-time PCR assay allows for sensitive and fast detection of Aspergillus species directly from BAL fluid samples. More importantly, this assay detects and differentiates wild-type from resistant strains, even if BAL fluid cultures remain negative.

  18. Vaccination approaches against opportunistic fungal infections caused by Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Reichard, Utz; Herrmann, Sahra; Asif, Abdul R

    2014-01-01

    Although innate immunity primarily combats systemic infections of opportunistic fungi such as Aspergillus and Candida spp., acquired and protective immunoreactions were observed long ago in animal trials following sublethal systemic infections caused by viable fungi or after challenging animals with inactivated fungal cells. Based on these observations, fungal antigens should exist which mediate such protective immunoreactions and have in part already been identified. In this context, this review focuses primarily on the various approaches that have been used to identify protection-mediating Aspergillus-antigens and their rationale. Emphasis is placed on screening methods that have exploited genetic or proteomic approaches on the basis of the corresponding fungal genome projects. Thereby, a survey and description is given of the antigens so far known to be capable of inducing immune responses that protect animals against acquiring lethal systemic aspergillosis.

  19. Myeloid derived hypoxia inducible factor 1-alpha is required for protection against pulmonary Aspergillus fumigatus infection.

    PubMed

    Shepardson, Kelly M; Jhingran, Anupam; Caffrey, Alayna; Obar, Joshua J; Suratt, Benjamin T; Berwin, Brent L; Hohl, Tobias M; Cramer, Robert A

    2014-09-01

    Hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) is the mammalian transcriptional factor that controls metabolism, survival, and innate immunity in response to inflammation and low oxygen. Previous work established that generation of hypoxic microenvironments occurs within the lung during infection with the human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Here we demonstrate that A. fumigatus stabilizes HIF1α protein early after pulmonary challenge that is inhibited by treatment of mice with the steroid triamcinolone. Utilizing myeloid deficient HIF1α mice, we observed that HIF1α is required for survival and fungal clearance early following pulmonary challenge with A. fumigatus. Unlike previously reported research with bacterial pathogens, HIF1α deficient neutrophils and macrophages were surprisingly not defective in fungal conidial killing. The increase in susceptibility of the myeloid deficient HIF1α mice to A. fumigatus was in part due to decreased early production of the chemokine CXCL1 (KC) and increased neutrophil apoptosis at the site of infection, resulting in decreased neutrophil numbers in the lung. Addition of recombinant CXCL1 restored neutrophil survival and numbers, murine survival, and fungal clearance. These results suggest that there are unique HIF1α mediated mechanisms employed by the host for protection and defense against fungal pathogen growth and invasion in the lung. Additionally, this work supports the strategy of exploring HIF1α as a therapeutic target in specific immunosuppressed populations with fungal infections.

  20. Systematic Global Analysis of Genes Encoding Protein Phosphatases in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Winkelströter, Lizziane K.; Dolan, Stephen K.; Fernanda dos Reis, Thaila; Bom, Vinícius Leite Pedro; Alves de Castro, Patrícia; Hagiwara, Daisuke; Alowni, Raneem; Jones, Gary W.; Doyle, Sean; Brown, Neil Andrew; Goldman, Gustavo H.

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a fungal pathogen that causes several invasive and noninvasive diseases named aspergillosis. This disease is generally regarded as multifactorial, considering that several pathogenicity determinants are present during the establishment of this illness. It is necessary to obtain an increased knowledge of how, and which, A. fumigatus signal transduction pathways are engaged in the regulation of these processes. Protein phosphatases are essential to several signal transduction pathways. We identified 32 phosphatase catalytic subunit-encoding genes in A. fumigatus, of which we were able to construct 24 viable deletion mutants. The role of nine phosphatase mutants in the HOG (high osmolarity glycerol response) pathway was evaluated by measuring phosphorylation of the p38 MAPK (SakA) and expression of osmo-dependent genes. We were also able to identify 11 phosphatases involved in iron assimilation, six that are related to gliotoxin resistance, and three implicated in gliotoxin production. These results present the creation of a fundamental resource for the study of signaling in A. fumigatus and its implications in the regulation of pathogenicity determinants and virulence in this important pathogen. PMID:25943523

  1. Distinct Responses of Human Monocyte Subsets to Aspergillus fumigatus Conidia1

    PubMed Central

    Serbina, Natalya V.; Cherny, Mathew; Shi, Chao; Bleau, Sharon A.; Collins, Nancy H.; Young, James W.; Pamer, Eric G.

    2009-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an environmental fungus that causes life-threatening infections in neutropenic patients. In the absence of intact innate immunity, inhaled A. fumigatus spores (conidia) germinate in the lung, forming hyphae that invade blood vessels and disseminate to other tissues. Although macrophages and neutrophils are postulated to provide defense against invasive fungal infection, animal models and human studies suggest that circulating monocytes also contribute to antifungal immunity. Although human monocyte subsets, defined as either CD14+CD16− or CD14+ CD16+, have been extensively characterized, their respective roles during fungal infection remain undefined. We isolated CD14+CD16− and CD14+CD16+ monocytes from healthy allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation donors and compared their ability to phagocytose and inhibit A. fumigatus conidia. Both monocyte subsets efficiently phagocytose conidia, but only CD14+CD16− monocytes inhibit conidial germination yet secrete little TNF. In contrast CD14+CD16+ do not inhibit conidial germination and secrete large amounts of TNF. Although CD14+CD16− and CD14+CD16+ monocytes differ in their response to dormant conidia, responses are similar if conidia are already germinated at the time of monocyte uptake. Our study demonstrates that functional CD14+CD16− and CD14+CD16+ monocytes can be isolated from allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation donors and that these subsets differ in their response to A. fumigatus conidia. PMID:19635902

  2. ImmunoPET/MR imaging allows specific detection of Aspergillus fumigatus lung infection in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Rolle, Anna-Maria; Hasenberg, Mike; Thornton, Christopher R.; Solouk-Saran, Djamschid; Männ, Linda; Weski, Juliane; Maurer, Andreas; Fischer, Eliane; Spycher, Philipp R.; Schibli, Roger; Boschetti, Frederic; Stegemann-Koniszewski, Sabine; Bruder, Dunja; Severin, Gregory W.; Autenrieth, Stella E.; Krappmann, Sven; Davies, Genna; Pichler, Bernd J.; Gunzer, Matthias; Wiehr, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is a life-threatening lung disease caused by the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, and is a leading cause of invasive fungal infection-related mortality and morbidity in patients with hematological malignancies and bone marrow transplants. We developed and tested a novel probe for noninvasive detection of A. fumigatus lung infection based on antibody-guided positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance (immunoPET/MR) imaging. Administration of a [64Cu]DOTA-labeled A. fumigatus-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb), JF5, to neutrophil-depleted A. fumigatus-infected mice allowed specific localization of lung infection when combined with PET. Optical imaging with a fluorochrome-labeled version of the mAb showed colocalization with invasive hyphae. The mAb-based newly developed PET tracer [64Cu]DOTA-JF5 distinguished IPA from bacterial lung infections and, in contrast to [18F]FDG-PET, discriminated IPA from a general increase in metabolic activity associated with lung inflammation. To our knowledge, this is the first time that antibody-guided in vivo imaging has been used for noninvasive diagnosis of a fungal lung disease (IPA) of humans, an approach with enormous potential for diagnosis of infectious diseases and with potential for clinical translation. PMID:26787852

  3. Myeloid Derived Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1-alpha Is Required for Protection against Pulmonary Aspergillus fumigatus Infection

    PubMed Central

    Shepardson, Kelly M.; Jhingran, Anupam; Caffrey, Alayna; Obar, Joshua J.; Suratt, Benjamin T.; Berwin, Brent L.; Hohl, Tobias M.; Cramer, Robert A.

    2014-01-01

    Hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) is the mammalian transcriptional factor that controls metabolism, survival, and innate immunity in response to inflammation and low oxygen. Previous work established that generation of hypoxic microenvironments occurs within the lung during infection with the human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Here we demonstrate that A. fumigatus stabilizes HIF1α protein early after pulmonary challenge that is inhibited by treatment of mice with the steroid triamcinolone. Utilizing myeloid deficient HIF1α mice, we observed that HIF1α is required for survival and fungal clearance early following pulmonary challenge with A. fumigatus. Unlike previously reported research with bacterial pathogens, HIF1α deficient neutrophils and macrophages were surprisingly not defective in fungal conidial killing. The increase in susceptibility of the myeloid deficient HIF1α mice to A. fumigatus was in part due to decreased early production of the chemokine CXCL1 (KC) and increased neutrophil apoptosis at the site of infection, resulting in decreased neutrophil numbers in the lung. Addition of recombinant CXCL1 restored neutrophil survival and numbers, murine survival, and fungal clearance. These results suggest that there are unique HIF1α mediated mechanisms employed by the host for protection and defense against fungal pathogen growth and invasion in the lung. Additionally, this work supports the strategy of exploring HIF1α as a therapeutic target in specific immunosuppressed populations with fungal infections. PMID:25255025

  4. Late-Onset Aspergillus Fumigatus Infection of an Aortic Stent Graft in an Immunocompetent Patient

    PubMed Central

    Ballazhi, Fatos; Weyand, Michael; Lang, Werner; Schoerner, Christoph; Seitz, Timo

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus as a clinical entity is difficult to diagnose. We present a case, which could facilitate diagnosis and management of the aforementioned disease. A 60-year-old man with stent graft implantation in the descending aorta (6 years ago) presented with fever, night sweats, and weight loss over 5 months. Leukocytosis and elevated C-reactive protein were constantly spiking. Blood cultures were negative. Notably, the serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) level was strongly elevated (> 1,000 U/mL). Anamnestically, the patient suffered from a mild form of atopic dermatitis and bronchial asthma. The pulmonary status showed no abnormalities in the computed tomography image. Nonetheless, a chest scan revealed a suspected abscess around the stent graft of the descending aorta. Extra-anatomic ascending to descending aortic bypass (Gelsoft 22 mm, Vascutek, Juchinnan, Scotland, United Kingdom) was performed. Intraoperative samples revealed A. fumigatus. These findings were confirmed by polymerase chain reaction analysis. Infection by A. fumigatus represents a diagnostic challenge because blood cultures are usually negative, but expeditious treatment is required to prevent occurrence of irreversible complications. A late graft infection, possibly caused by A. fumigatus should be suspected in patients with implanted grafts, who suffer from unexplained, blood culture-negative fever that does not respond to antibiotics and who have a history of dermatitis or bronchial asthma with elevated IgE antibodies. PMID:26693131

  5. ImmunoPET/MR imaging allows specific detection of Aspergillus fumigatus lung infection in vivo.

    PubMed

    Rolle, Anna-Maria; Hasenberg, Mike; Thornton, Christopher R; Solouk-Saran, Djamschid; Männ, Linda; Weski, Juliane; Maurer, Andreas; Fischer, Eliane; Spycher, Philipp R; Schibli, Roger; Boschetti, Frederic; Stegemann-Koniszewski, Sabine; Bruder, Dunja; Severin, Gregory W; Autenrieth, Stella E; Krappmann, Sven; Davies, Genna; Pichler, Bernd J; Gunzer, Matthias; Wiehr, Stefan

    2016-02-23

    Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is a life-threatening lung disease caused by the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, and is a leading cause of invasive fungal infection-related mortality and morbidity in patients with hematological malignancies and bone marrow transplants. We developed and tested a novel probe for noninvasive detection of A. fumigatus lung infection based on antibody-guided positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance (immunoPET/MR) imaging. Administration of a [(64)Cu]DOTA-labeled A. fumigatus-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb), JF5, to neutrophil-depleted A. fumigatus-infected mice allowed specific localization of lung infection when combined with PET. Optical imaging with a fluorochrome-labeled version of the mAb showed colocalization with invasive hyphae. The mAb-based newly developed PET tracer [(64)Cu]DOTA-JF5 distinguished IPA from bacterial lung infections and, in contrast to [(18)F]FDG-PET, discriminated IPA from a general increase in metabolic activity associated with lung inflammation. To our knowledge, this is the first time that antibody-guided in vivo imaging has been used for noninvasive diagnosis of a fungal lung disease (IPA) of humans, an approach with enormous potential for diagnosis of infectious diseases and with potential for clinical translation. PMID:26787852

  6. Elastase Activity in Aspergillus fumigatus Can Arise by Random, Spontaneous Mutations

    PubMed Central

    Álvarez-Pérez, Sergio; Blanco, Jose L.; López-Rodas, Victoria; Flores-Moya, Antonio; Costas, Eduardo; García, Marta E.

    2010-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus Fresenius has the capacity to degrade elastin (the principal protein of the lungs) and it is considered that elastase activity (EA) is among the most important pathogenicity factors of this mold. In particular, there is a strong correlation between EA in A. fumigatus and invasive aspergillosis. However, EA is not universal in this mold, and it is unknown whether the capacity to degrade elastin is the consequence of physiological mechanisms and/or genetic changes (putative adaptive mutations) induced after the exposure to this substrate or, on the contrary, it is due to random spontaneous mutations that occur under nonselective conditions. In order to discriminate between these possibilities, a Luria-Delbrück fluctuation analysis was carried out on an elastase-negative (EA−) A. fumigatus strain, using as selective factor a culture medium containing elastin as the sole source of nitrogen. Here we show that the EA− → EA+ transformation in A. fumigatus appears by rare, random mutations before the exposure of the strain to selective conditions. This work represents the first experimental evidence of pathogenicity factor acquisition in mycelial fungi by preselective mutation. PMID:21350652

  7. Verruculogen production in airborne and clinical isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus Fres.

    PubMed

    Kosalec, Ivan; Klarić, Maja Segvić; Pepeljnjak, Stjepan

    2005-12-01

    Among airborne aspergilli sampled in outdoor air of the Zagreb area (2002/2003), Aspergillus niger (v. Teigh.) and A. fumigatus (Fres.) were the most abundant species (20-30%), with low mean annual concentrations (0.21-1.04 CFU m-3). Higher concentrations of A. fumigatus were observed in autumn and winter (0.5-1.05 CFU m-3) than in spring and summer (0-0.4 CFU m-3). On the other hand, A. fumigatus was found to be the most frequent isolate from upper and/or lower respiratory tracts of imunocompromised patients in many studies. This species produces several mycotoxins, including the tremorgenic mycotoxin verruculogen that can be found in spores and during myceliar growth. Verruculogen production ability was tested on 30 airborne and 33 clinical isolates of A. fumigatus. In both groups, high percentage of verruculogen-producing strains was noticed (84% of airborne and 91% of clinical isolates). Verruculogen production was not significantly different in the groups of airborne isolates (0.34+/-0.16 mg mL-1), and clinical isolates (0.26+/-0.19 mg mL-1). PMID:16375825

  8. Aspergillus fumigatus contamination of lymphokine-activated killer cells infused into cancer patients.

    PubMed

    Arnow, P M; Houchins, S G; Richards, J M; Chudy, R

    1991-05-01

    Lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells, prepared by incubating autologous lymphocytes in cell culture medium with interleukin-2, selectively lyse tumor cells and are effective immunotherapy of some cancers. During a 3-month period, two patients at our center were infused with LAK cells subsequently found to have been contaminated by Aspergillus fumigatus. Each case was investigated by obtaining environmental cultures and assessing aseptic practices during LAK cell preparation. Investigation of the first case demonstrated a malfunction of the laminar air flow hood, under which interleukin-2 and the patient's lymphocytes had been added to cell culture medium, and showed heavy A. fumigatus contamination of the hood, adjacent countertop, and cell culture incubator. Despite repair of the laminar air flow hood and cleaning of the laboratory, a second case occurred, and cultures at that time implicated the humidified cell culture incubators as the source of A. fumigatus. Following incubator sterilization and removal of the humidification apparatus from the incubators, weekly environmental cultures in the LAK cell laboratory were negative, and none of the LAK cell cultures from the 20 patients treated during the ensuing 15 months grew A. fumigatus. Our findings show that growth of fungi in humidified incubators, which previously has caused contamination problems in tissue culture and clinical microbiology laboratories, can result in patient infections when humidified incubators are used to prepare cells for reinfusion.

  9. Evolutionary Analysis of Sequence Divergence and Diversity of Duplicate Genes in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ence; Hulse, Amanda M.; Cai, James J.

    2012-01-01

    Gene duplication as a major source of novel genetic material plays an important role in evolution. In this study, we focus on duplicate genes in Aspergillus fumigatus, a ubiquitous filamentous fungus causing life-threatening human infections. We characterize the extent and evolutionary patterns of the duplicate genes in the genome of A. fumigatus. Our results show that A. fumigatus contains a large amount of duplicate genes with pronounced sequence divergence between two copies, and approximately 10% of them diverge asymmetrically, i.e. two copies of a duplicate gene pair diverge at significantly different rates. We use a Bayesian approach of the McDonald-Kreitman test to infer distributions of selective coefficients γ(=2Nes) and find that (1) the values of γ for two copies of duplicate genes co-vary positively and (2) the average γ for the two copies differs between genes from different gene families. This analysis highlights the usefulness of combining divergence and diversity data in studying the evolution of duplicate genes. Taken together, our results provide further support and refinement to the theories of gene duplication. Through characterizing the duplicate genes in the genome of A. fumigatus, we establish a computational framework, including parameter settings and methods, for comparative study of genetic redundancy and gene duplication between different fungal species. PMID:23225993

  10. Pseudallescheria boydii with Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus terreus in a Critically Ill Hematopoietic Stem Cell Recipient with ARDS.

    PubMed

    Lahmer, Tobias; Messer, Marlena; Ehmer, Ursula; Eser, Stefan; Beitz, Analena; Fekecs, Lisa; Schmid, Roland M; Huber, Wolfgang

    2016-04-01

    Pseudallescheria boydii is a fungal organism known to affect immunocompromised patients. This organism is known to cause, in severe cases, invasive infection of various organs such as the central nervous, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. We report an unusual case of pulmonary P. boydii pneumonia in an immunocompromised critically ill patient with a co-infection of Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus terreus with ARDS. This case highlights the importance of a high index of suspicion for superimposed fungal infections in patients who are critically ill and immunocompromised. Uncommon fungal pathogens should be considered in the differential diagnosis of respiratory failure, especially if diagnostic markers such as galactomannan (from BAL and serum) or 1,3-beta-D-glucan are elevated. Further diagnostic interventions are warranted when insufficient clinical improvement is observed to prevent treatment failure and adverse outcomes. PMID:26455910

  11. Interstrain variability in the virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus terreus in a Toll-deficient Drosophila fly model of invasive aspergillosis.

    PubMed

    Ben-Ami, Ronen; Lamaris, Gregory A; Lewis, Russell E; Kontoyiannis, Dimitrios P

    2010-03-01

    Members of the genus Aspergillus are opportunistic fungal pathogens characterized by their genomic diversity. However, whether variations among Aspergillus strains and species at the genome level translate into significant differences in virulence is unclear. Therefore, we studied the interstrain and interspecies variations in virulence for a collection of Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus terreus isolates using a previously described model of invasive aspergillosis in Toll-deficient fruit flies. We then looked for associations between survival in the fly model and strain relatedness as defined by repetitive-sequence polymerase chain reaction (rep-PCR). We observed no significant differences in the survival of flies infected with A. fumigatus vs. A. terreus or flies infected with colonizing vs. invasive isolates of either species. However, in both Aspergillus species we observed significant interstrain variability in fly survival (P<0.001 by the log-rank test). Using rep-PCR, we identified two dominant A. fumigatus clades that were associated with significantly different survival rates in Toll-deficient flies (P=0.007). We conclude that the fly model of invasive aspergillosis enables high-throughput screening of Aspergillus species for variations in virulence and may uncover distinct A. fumigatus clades that differ in their pathogenicity.

  12. A Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetase-derived Iron(III) Complex from the Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Wen-Bing; Baccile, Joshua A.; Bok, Jin Woo; Chen, Yiming; Keller, Nancy P.; Schroeder, Frank C.

    2013-01-01

    Small molecules (SMs) play central roles as virulence factors of pathogenic fungi and bacteria; however, genomic analyses suggest that the majority of microbial SMs have remained uncharacterized. Based on microarray analysis followed by comparative metabolomics of overexpression/knockout mutants we identified a tryptophan-derived iron(III)-complex, hexadehydroastechrome (HAS), as the major product of the cryptic has non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) gene cluster in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Activation of the has cluster created a highly virulent A. fumigatus strain that increased mortality of infected mice. Comparative metabolomics of different mutant strains allowed to propose a pathway for HAS biosynthesis and further revealed cross-talk with another NRPS pathway producing the anti-cancer fumitremorgins. PMID:23360537

  13. Mycotoxins of Aspergillus fumigatus in pure culture and in native bioaerosols from compost facilities.

    PubMed

    Fischer, G; Müller, T; Ostrowski, R; Dott, W

    1999-04-01

    Exposure to secondary metabolites of airborne fungi in waste handling facilities is discussed in regard to potential toxic impacts on human health. The relevance of mycotoxins has been intensely studied in connection with contamination of food and feed. Toxic secondary metabolites are expected to be present in airborne spores, but exposure to mycotoxins in bioaerosols has not been studied sufficiently. Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most frequent species in the air of compost plants. A wide range of secondary metabolites was found in pure cultures of freshly isolated strains of A. fumigatus. Tryptoquivaline, a compound with tremorgenic properties, and trypacidin, for which no toxic properties are described, were found in native bioaerosols in a compost facility. The highly toxic metabolites gliotoxin and verruculogen were not found in the bioaerosols. PMID:10101846

  14. Sequencing of Aspergillus nidulans and comparative analysis with A. fumigatus and A. oryzae.

    PubMed

    Galagan, James E; Calvo, Sarah E; Cuomo, Christina; Ma, Li-Jun; Wortman, Jennifer R; Batzoglou, Serafim; Lee, Su-In; Baştürkmen, Meray; Spevak, Christina C; Clutterbuck, John; Kapitonov, Vladimir; Jurka, Jerzy; Scazzocchio, Claudio; Farman, Mark; Butler, Jonathan; Purcell, Seth; Harris, Steve; Braus, Gerhard H; Draht, Oliver; Busch, Silke; D'Enfert, Christophe; Bouchier, Christiane; Goldman, Gustavo H; Bell-Pedersen, Deborah; Griffiths-Jones, Sam; Doonan, John H; Yu, Jaehyuk; Vienken, Kay; Pain, Arnab; Freitag, Michael; Selker, Eric U; Archer, David B; Peñalva, Miguel A; Oakley, Berl R; Momany, Michelle; Tanaka, Toshihiro; Kumagai, Toshitaka; Asai, Kiyoshi; Machida, Masayuki; Nierman, William C; Denning, David W; Caddick, Mark; Hynes, Michael; Paoletti, Mathieu; Fischer, Reinhard; Miller, Bruce; Dyer, Paul; Sachs, Matthew S; Osmani, Stephen A; Birren, Bruce W

    2005-12-22

    The aspergilli comprise a diverse group of filamentous fungi spanning over 200 million years of evolution. Here we report the genome sequence of the model organism Aspergillus nidulans, and a comparative study with Aspergillus fumigatus, a serious human pathogen, and Aspergillus oryzae, used in the production of sake, miso and soy sauce. Our analysis of genome structure provided a quantitative evaluation of forces driving long-term eukaryotic genome evolution. It also led to an experimentally validated model of mating-type locus evolution, suggesting the potential for sexual reproduction in A. fumigatus and A. oryzae. Our analysis of sequence conservation revealed over 5,000 non-coding regions actively conserved across all three species. Within these regions, we identified potential functional elements including a previously uncharacterized TPP riboswitch and motifs suggesting regulation in filamentous fungi by Puf family genes. We further obtained comparative and experimental evidence indicating widespread translational regulation by upstream open reading frames. These results enhance our understanding of these widely studied fungi as well as provide new insight into eukaryotic genome evolution and gene regulation. PMID:16372000

  15. GDP-mannose pyrophosphorylase is essential for cell wall integrity, morphogenesis and viability of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Hechun; Ouyang, Haomiao; Zhou, Hui; Jin, Cheng

    2008-09-01

    GDP-mannose pyrophosphorylase (GMPP) catalyses the synthesis of GDP-mannose, which is the precursor for the mannose residues in glycoconjugates, using mannose 1-phosphate and GTP as substrates. Repression of GMPP in yeast leads to phenotypes including cell lysis, defective cell wall, and failure of polarized growth and cell separation. Although several GMPPs have been isolated and characterized in filamentous fungi, the physiological consequences of their actions are not clear. In this study, Afsrb1, which is a homologue of yeast SRB1/PSA1/VIG9, was identified in the Aspergillus fumigatus genome. The Afsrb1 gene was expressed in Escherichia coli, and recombinant AfSrb1 was functionally confirmed as a GMPP. By the replacement of the native Afsrb1 promoter with an inducible Aspergillus nidulans alcA promoter, the conditional inactivation mutant strain YJ-gmpp was constructed. The presence of 3 % glucose completely blocked transcription of P(alcA)-Afsrb1, and was lethal to strain YJ-gmpp. Repression of Afsrb1 expression in strain YJ-gmpp led to phenotypes including hyphal lysis, defective cell wall, impaired polarity maintenance, and branching site selection. Also, rapid germination and reduced conidiation were documented. However, in contrast to yeast, strain YJ-gmpp retained the ability to direct polarity establishment and septation. Our results showed that the Afsrb1 gene is essential for cell wall integrity, morphogenesis and viability of Aspergillus fumigatus.

  16. Human polymorphonuclear leukocytes inhibit Aspergillus fumigatus conidial growth by lactoferrin-mediated iron depletion.

    PubMed

    Zarember, Kol A; Sugui, Janyce A; Chang, Yun C; Kwon-Chung, Kyung J; Gallin, John I

    2007-05-15

    Aspergillus fumigatus, a common mold, rarely infects humans, except during prolonged neutropenia or in cases of chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), a primary immunodeficiency caused by mutations in the NADPH oxidase that normally produces fungicidal reactive oxygen species. Filamentous hyphae of Aspergillus are killed by normal, but not CGD polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN); however, the few studies on PMN-mediated host defenses against infectious conidia (spores) of this organism have yielded conflicting results, some showing that PMN do not inhibit conidial growth, with others showing that they do, most likely using reactive oxygen species. Given that CGD patients are exposed daily to hundreds of viable A. fumigatus conidia, yet considerable numbers of them survive years without infection, we reasoned that PMN use ROS-independent mechanisms to combat Aspergillus. We show that human PMN from both normal controls and CGD patients are equipotent at arresting the growth of Aspergillus conidia in vitro, indicating the presence of a reactive oxygen species-independent factor(s). Cell-free supernatants of degranulated normal and CGD neutrophils both suppressed fungal growth and were found to be rich in lactoferrin, an abundant PMN secondary granule protein. Purified iron-poor lactoferrin at concentrations occurring in PMN supernatants (and reported in human mucosal secretions in vivo) decreased fungal growth, whereas saturation of lactoferrin or PMN supernatants with iron, or testing in the presence of excess iron in the form of ferritin, completely abolished activity against conidia. These results demonstrate that PMN lactoferrin sequestration of iron is important for host defense against Aspergillus. PMID:17475866

  17. Genetic relatedness versus biological compatibility between Aspergillus fumigatus and related species.

    PubMed

    Sugui, Janyce A; Peterson, Stephen W; Figat, Abigail; Hansen, Bryan; Samson, Robert A; Mellado, Emilia; Cuenca-Estrella, Manuel; Kwon-Chung, Kyung J

    2014-10-01

    Aspergillus section Fumigati contains 12 clinically relevant species. Among these Aspergillus species, A. fumigatus is the most frequent agent of invasive aspergillosis, followed by A. lentulus and A. viridinutans. Genealogical concordance and mating experiments were performed to examine the relationship between phylogenetic distance and mating success in these three heterothallic species. Analyses of 19 isolates from section Fumigati revealed the presence of three previously unrecognized species within the broadly circumscribed species A. viridinutans. A single mating type was found in the new species Aspergillus pseudofelis and Aspergillus pseudoviridinutans, but in Aspergillus parafelis, both mating types were present. Reciprocal interspecific pairings of all species in the study showed that the only successful crosses occurred with the MAT1-2 isolates of both A. parafelis and A. pseudofelis. The MAT1-2 isolate of A. parafelis was fertile when paired with the MAT1-1 isolates of A. fumigatus, A. viridinutans, A. felis, A. pseudoviridinutans, and A. wyomingensis but was not fertile with the MAT1-1 isolate of A. lentulus. The MAT1-2 isolates of A. pseudofelis were fertile when paired with the MAT1-1 isolate of A. felis but not with any of the other species. The general infertility in the interspecies crossings suggests that genetically unrelated species are also biologically incompatible, with the MAT1-2 isolates of A. parafelis and A. pseudofelis being the exception. Our findings underscore the importance of genealogical concordance analysis for species circumscription, as well as for accurate species identification, since misidentification of morphologically similar pathogens with differences in innate drug resistance may be of grave consequences for disease management.

  18. Genetic Relatedness versus Biological Compatibility between Aspergillus fumigatus and Related Species

    PubMed Central

    Sugui, Janyce A.; Peterson, Stephen W.; Figat, Abigail; Hansen, Bryan; Samson, Robert A.; Mellado, Emilia; Cuenca-Estrella, Manuel

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillus section Fumigati contains 12 clinically relevant species. Among these Aspergillus species, A. fumigatus is the most frequent agent of invasive aspergillosis, followed by A. lentulus and A. viridinutans. Genealogical concordance and mating experiments were performed to examine the relationship between phylogenetic distance and mating success in these three heterothallic species. Analyses of 19 isolates from section Fumigati revealed the presence of three previously unrecognized species within the broadly circumscribed species A. viridinutans. A single mating type was found in the new species Aspergillus pseudofelis and Aspergillus pseudoviridinutans, but in Aspergillus parafelis, both mating types were present. Reciprocal interspecific pairings of all species in the study showed that the only successful crosses occurred with the MAT1-2 isolates of both A. parafelis and A. pseudofelis. The MAT1-2 isolate of A. parafelis was fertile when paired with the MAT1-1 isolates of A. fumigatus, A. viridinutans, A. felis, A. pseudoviridinutans, and A. wyomingensis but was not fertile with the MAT1-1 isolate of A. lentulus. The MAT1-2 isolates of A. pseudofelis were fertile when paired with the MAT1-1 isolate of A. felis but not with any of the other species. The general infertility in the interspecies crossings suggests that genetically unrelated species are also biologically incompatible, with the MAT1-2 isolates of A. parafelis and A. pseudofelis being the exception. Our findings underscore the importance of genealogical concordance analysis for species circumscription, as well as for accurate species identification, since misidentification of morphologically similar pathogens with differences in innate drug resistance may be of grave consequences for disease management. PMID:25100816

  19. In Vitro Biochemical Study of CYP51-Mediated Azole Resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Warrilow, Andrew G. S.; Parker, Josie E.; Price, Claire L.; Nes, W. David

    2015-01-01

    The incidence of triazole-resistant Aspergillus infections is increasing worldwide, often mediated through mutations in the CYP51A amino acid sequence. New classes of azole-based drugs are required to combat the increasing resistance to existing triazole therapeutics. In this study, a CYP51 reconstitution assay is described consisting of eburicol, purified recombinant Aspergillus fumigatus CPR1 (AfCPR1), and Escherichia coli membrane suspensions containing recombinant A. fumigatus CYP51 proteins, allowing in vitro screening of azole antifungals. Azole-CYP51 studies determining the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) showed that A. fumigatus CYP51B (Af51B IC50, 0.50 μM) was 34-fold more susceptible to inhibition by fluconazole than A. fumigatus CYP51A (Af51A IC50, 17 μM) and that Af51A and Af51B were equally susceptible to inhibition by voriconazole, itraconazole, and posaconazole (IC50s of 0.16 to 0.38 μM). Af51A-G54W and Af51A-M220K enzymes were 11- and 15-fold less susceptible to inhibition by itraconazole and 30- and 8-fold less susceptible to inhibition by posaconazole than wild-type Af51A, confirming the azole-resistant phenotype of these two Af51A mutations. Susceptibility to voriconazole of Af51A-G54W and Af51A-M220K was only marginally lower than that of wild-type Af51A. Susceptibility of Af51A-L98H to inhibition by voriconazole, itraconazole, and posaconazole was only marginally lower (less than 2-fold) than that of wild-type Af51A. However, Af51A-L98H retained 5 to 8% residual activity in the presence of 32 μM triazole, which could confer azole resistance in A. fumigatus strains that harbor the Af51A-L98H mutation. The AfCPR1/Af51 assay system demonstrated the biochemical basis for the increased azole resistance of A. fumigatus strains harboring G54W, L98H, and M220K Af51A point mutations. PMID:26459890

  20. Contributions of Aspergillus fumigatus ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter Proteins to Drug Resistance and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Sanjoy; Diekema, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    In yeast cells such as those of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, expression of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter proteins has been found to be increased and correlates with a concomitant elevation in azole drug resistance. In this study, we investigated the roles of two Aspergillus fumigatus proteins that share high sequence similarity with S. cerevisiae Pdr5, an ABC transporter protein that is commonly overproduced in azole-resistant isolates in this yeast. The two A. fumigatus genes encoding the ABC transporters sharing the highest sequence similarity to S. cerevisiae Pdr5 are called abcA and abcB here. We constructed deletion alleles of these two different ABC transporter-encoding genes in three different strains of A. fumigatus. Loss of abcB invariably elicited increased azole susceptibility, while abcA disruption alleles had variable phenotypes. Specific antibodies were raised to both AbcA and AbcB proteins. These antisera allowed detection of AbcB in wild-type cells, while AbcA could be visualized only when overproduced from the hspA promoter in A. fumigatus. Overproduction of AbcA also yielded increased azole resistance. Green fluorescent protein fusions were used to provide evidence that both AbcA and AbcB are localized to the plasma membrane in A. fumigatus. Promoter fusions to firefly luciferase suggested that expression of both ABC transporter-encoding genes is inducible by azole challenge. Virulence assays implicated AbcB as a possible factor required for normal pathogenesis. This work provides important new insights into the physiological roles of ABC transporters in this major fungal pathogen. PMID:24123268

  1. Automated image analysis of the host-pathogen interaction between phagocytes and Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Mech, Franziska; Thywissen, Andreas; Guthke, Reinhard; Brakhage, Axel A; Figge, Marc Thilo

    2011-05-05

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a ubiquitous airborne fungus and opportunistic human pathogen. In immunocompromised hosts, the fungus can cause life-threatening diseases like invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Since the incidence of fungal systemic infections drastically increased over the last years, it is a major goal to investigate the pathobiology of A. fumigatus and in particular the interactions of A. fumigatus conidia with immune cells. Many of these studies include the activity of immune effector cells, in particular of macrophages, when they are confronted with conidia of A. fumigus wild-type and mutant strains. Here, we report the development of an automated analysis of confocal laser scanning microscopy images from macrophages coincubated with different A. fumigatus strains. At present, microscopy images are often analysed manually, including cell counting and determination of interrelations between cells, which is very time consuming and error-prone. Automation of this process overcomes these disadvantages and standardises the analysis, which is a prerequisite for further systems biological studies including mathematical modeling of the infection process. For this purpose, the cells in our experimental setup were differentially stained and monitored by confocal laser scanning microscopy. To perform the image analysis in an automatic fashion, we developed a ruleset that is generally applicable to phagocytosis assays and in the present case was processed by the software Definiens Developer XD. As a result of a complete image analysis we obtained features such as size, shape, number of cells and cell-cell contacts. The analysis reported here, reveals that different mutants of A. fumigatus have a major influence on the ability of macrophages to adhere and to phagocytose the respective conidia. In particular, we observe that the phagocytosis ratio and the aggregation behaviour of pksP mutant compared to wild-type conidia are both significantly increased.

  2. Automated Image Analysis of the Host-Pathogen Interaction between Phagocytes and Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Guthke, Reinhard; Brakhage, Axel A.; Figge, Marc Thilo

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a ubiquitous airborne fungus and opportunistic human pathogen. In immunocompromised hosts, the fungus can cause life-threatening diseases like invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Since the incidence of fungal systemic infections drastically increased over the last years, it is a major goal to investigate the pathobiology of A. fumigatus and in particular the interactions of A. fumigatus conidia with immune cells. Many of these studies include the activity of immune effector cells, in particular of macrophages, when they are confronted with conidia of A. fumigus wild-type and mutant strains. Here, we report the development of an automated analysis of confocal laser scanning microscopy images from macrophages coincubated with different A. fumigatus strains. At present, microscopy images are often analysed manually, including cell counting and determination of interrelations between cells, which is very time consuming and error-prone. Automation of this process overcomes these disadvantages and standardises the analysis, which is a prerequisite for further systems biological studies including mathematical modeling of the infection process. For this purpose, the cells in our experimental setup were differentially stained and monitored by confocal laser scanning microscopy. To perform the image analysis in an automatic fashion, we developed a ruleset that is generally applicable to phagocytosis assays and in the present case was processed by the software Definiens Developer XD. As a result of a complete image analysis we obtained features such as size, shape, number of cells and cell-cell contacts. The analysis reported here, reveals that different mutants of A. fumigatus have a major influence on the ability of macrophages to adhere and to phagocytose the respective conidia. In particular, we observe that the phagocytosis ratio and the aggregation behaviour of pksP mutant compared to wild-type conidia are both significantly increased. PMID

  3. Aspergillus fumigatus enhances elastase production in Pseudomonas aeruginosa co-cultures.

    PubMed

    Smith, Karen; Rajendran, Ranjith; Kerr, Stephen; Lappin, David F; Mackay, William G; Williams, Craig; Ramage, Gordon

    2015-09-01

    In the cystic fibrosis (CF) lung the presence of bacteria and fungi in the airways promotes an inflammatory response causing progressive lung damage, ultimately leading to high rates of morbidity and mortality. We hypothesized that polymicrobial interactions play an important role in promoting airway pathogenesis. We therefore examined the interplay between the most commonly isolated bacterial CF pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and the most prevalent filamentous fungi, Aspergillus fumigatus, to test this. Co-culture experiments showed that in the presence of A. fumigatus the production of P. aeruginosa elastase was enhanced. This was confirmed by the presence of zones of clearance on Elastin-Congo Red (ECR) agar, which was identified as elastase by mass spectrometry. When P. aeruginosa were grown in a co-culture model with mature A. fumigatus biofilms, 60% of isolates produced significantly more elastase in the presence of the filamentous fungi than in its absence (P < .05). The expression of lasB also increased when P. aeruginosa isolates PA01 and PA14 were grown in co-culture with A. fumigatus. Supernatants from co-culture experiments were also significantly toxic to a human lung epithelial cell line (19-38% cell cytotoxicity) in comparison to supernatants from P. aeruginosa only cultures (P < .0001). Here we report that P. aeruginosa cytotoxic elastase is enhanced in the presence of the filamentous fungi A. fumigatus, suggesting that this may have a role to play in the damaging pathology associated with the lung tissue in this disease. This indicates that patients who have a co-colonisation with these two organisms may have a poorer prognosis. PMID:26162475

  4. Gβ-Like CpcB Plays a Crucial Role for Growth and Development of Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Qing; Wang, Long; Liu, Zengran; Kwon, Nak-Jung; Kim, Sun Chang; Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    2013-01-01

    Growth, development, virulence and secondary metabolism in fungi are governed by heterotrimeric G proteins (G proteins). A Gβ-like protein called Gib2 has been shown to function as an atypical Gβ in Gpa1-cAMP signaling in Cryptococcus neoformans. We found that the previously reported CpcB (cross pathway control B) protein is the ortholog of Gib2 in Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus fumigatus. In this report, we further characterize the roles of CpcB in governing growth, development and toxigenesis in the two aspergilli. The deletion of cpcB results in severely impaired cellular growth, delayed spore germination, and defective asexual sporulation (conidiation) in both aspergilli. Moreover, CpcB is necessary for proper expression of the key developmental activator brlA during initiation and progression of conidiation in A. nidulans and A. fumigatus. Somewhat in accordance with the previous study, the absence of cpcB results in the formation of fewer, but not micro-, cleistothecia in A. nidulans in the presence of wild type veA, an essential activator of sexual development. However, the cpcB deletion mutant cleistothecia contain no ascospores, validating that CpcB is required for progression and completion of sexual fruiting including ascosporogenesis. Furthermore, unlike the canonical GβSfaD, CpcB is not needed for the biosynthesis of the mycotoxin sterigmatocystin (ST) as the cpcB null mutant produced reduced amount of ST with unaltered STC gene expression. However, in A. fumigatus, the deletion of cpcB results in the blockage of gliotoxin (GT) production. Further genetic analyses in A. nidulans indicate that CpcB may play a central role in vegetative growth, which might be independent of FadA- and GanB-mediated signaling. A speculative model summarizing the roles of CpcB in conjunction with SfaD in A. nidulans is presented. PMID:23936193

  5. Concurrent pulmonary Aspergillus fumigatus and mucor infection in a cardiac transplant recipient: a case report.

    PubMed

    Webb, B J; Blair, J E; Kusne, S; Scott, R L; Steidley, D E; Arabia, F A; Vikram, H R

    2013-03-01

    Invasive fungal infections are a significant complication of solid organ transplantation. Here we report the first case of concurrent invasive pulmonary fungal infection caused by Aspergillus fumigatus and Mucor species in a heart transplant recipient. Polymicrobial mold infection is rare but should be considered in solid organ transplant recipients who fail to respond to initial antifungal therapy targeting a single organism. It is also of interest that in addition to potent immunosuppression and prolonged voriconazole therapy, possible airway fungal colonization following hurricane Katrina cleaning efforts might have contributed to this dual invasive mold infection. PMID:23267784

  6. The characterization and distribution of hexahydropolyprenyl esters in cultures of Aspergillus fumigatus Fresenius.

    PubMed

    Stone, K J; Hemming, F W

    1968-10-01

    The total mycelial lipid of Aspergillus fumigatus was analysed and over half of its hexahydropolyprenol was shown to be esterified with fatty acids. Comparison of the fatty acid content of the prenyl esters with the sterol ester and the total lipid indicated a marked predominance of saturated fatty acids in the polyprenyl esters. The predominant acids esterified to the prenols were palmitic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid, lignoceric acid, stearic acid and palmitoleic acid. Most of the unesterified polyprenol was found in the mitochondrial fraction, but the esterified prenol was equally distributed throughout the cell fractions. This distribution was unlike that found for ergosteryl ester in the same tissue.

  7. Anthraquinone derivatives from Rumex plants and endophytic Aspergillus fumigatus and their effects on diabetic nephropathy.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yang; Yan, Yong-Ming; Wei, Wei; Luo, Jie; Zhang, Lan-Sheng; Zhou, Xiao-Jiang; Wang, Peng-Cheng; Yang, Yong-Xun; Cheng, Yong-Xian

    2013-07-01

    Two new oxanthrone C-glycosides, patientosides A (14) and B (15), together with three known ones (11-13), were isolated from Rumex patientia. Their structures were identified on the basis of spectroscopic methods. The absolute configuration for 14 and 15 were deduced by analysis of their CD spectra and comparison with those of known similar compounds. Compounds 11-15, and 14 known anthraquinones (1-4, 6-10, 16-20) previously isolated from Rumex nepalensis, Rumex hastatus, and endophytic Aspergillus fumigatus, respectively, as well as a commercially available compound rhein (5) were evaluated for their inhibitory effects on IL-6 and extracellular matrix production in mesangial cells.

  8. Concurrent pulmonary Aspergillus fumigatus and mucor infection in a cardiac transplant recipient: a case report.

    PubMed

    Webb, B J; Blair, J E; Kusne, S; Scott, R L; Steidley, D E; Arabia, F A; Vikram, H R

    2013-03-01

    Invasive fungal infections are a significant complication of solid organ transplantation. Here we report the first case of concurrent invasive pulmonary fungal infection caused by Aspergillus fumigatus and Mucor species in a heart transplant recipient. Polymicrobial mold infection is rare but should be considered in solid organ transplant recipients who fail to respond to initial antifungal therapy targeting a single organism. It is also of interest that in addition to potent immunosuppression and prolonged voriconazole therapy, possible airway fungal colonization following hurricane Katrina cleaning efforts might have contributed to this dual invasive mold infection.

  9. Pyripyropenes, novel ACAT inhibitors produced by Aspergillus fumigatus. IV. Structure elucidation of pyripyropenes M to R.

    PubMed

    Tomoda, H; Tabata, N; Yang, D J; Namatame, I; Tanaka, H; Omura, S; Kaneko, T

    1996-03-01

    Six new pyripyropenes, M to R, were isolated from the ethyl acetate extracts of the jar fermentation broth of Aspergillus fumigatus FO-1289-2501. Structural elucidation indicated that all the pyripyropenes have the same pyridino-alpha-pyrone sesquiterpene core as pyripyropenes A to L. Among them pyripyropene M showed the most potent inhibition against acyl-CoA : cholesterol acyltransferase activity with an IC50 value of 3.80 microM in rat liver microsomes, but pyripyropenes N to R showed moderate inhibitory activity (IC50 11.0 approximately 78.0 microM). PMID:8626247

  10. Pyripyropenes, Novel ACAT inhibitors produced by Aspergillus fumigatus. III. Structure elucidation of pyripyropenes E to L.

    PubMed

    Tomoda, H; Tabata, N; Yang, D J; Takayanagi, H; Nishida, H; Omura, S; Kaneko, T

    1995-06-01

    Eight new pyripyropenes, E to L, were isolated from the culture broth of Aspergillus fumigatus FO-1289-2501 selected as a higher producer by NTG mutation. Structural elucidation indicated that all the pyripyropenes have the same pyridino-alpha-pyrone sesquiterpene core as pyripyropenes A to D. Among them, pyripyropene L showed the most potent inhibition against acyl-CoA: cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) activity with an IC50 value of 0.27 microM in rat liver microsomes. PMID:7622436

  11. Expression, purification and crystallization of an indole prenyltransferase from Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jing; Morita, Hiroyuki; Kato, Ryohei; Noguchi, Hiroshi; Sugio, Shigetoshi; Abe, Ikuro

    2012-01-01

    CdpNPT from Aspergillus fumigatus is a dimethylallyltryptophan synthase/indole prenyltransferase that catalyzes reverse prenylation at position N1 of tryptophan-containing cyclic dipeptides. Residues 38–440 of CdpNPT were expressed in Escherichia coli and crystallized using the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion and microseeding techniques. The crystals belonged to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 84.4, b = 157.1, c = 161.8 Å, α = β = γ = 90.0°. PMID:22442243

  12. Comparison of Two Highly Discriminatory Molecular Fingerprinting Assays for Analysis of Multiple Aspergillus fumigatus Isolates from Patients with Invasive Aspergillosis▿

    PubMed Central

    de Valk, Hanneke A.; Meis, Jacques F. G. M.; de Pauw, Ben E.; Donnelly, Peter J.; Klaassen, Corné H. W.

    2007-01-01

    Two highly discriminatory fingerprinting assays, short tandem repeat typing and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), were compared to determine the genetic relatedness between 55 isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus obtained from 15 different patients suffering from proven invasive aspergillosis. Both techniques showed that interpatient isolates belonged to different genotypes and that intrapatient isolates from deep sites were all of the same genotype. By contrast, multiple genotypes were found among isolates originating from respiratory samples. Both techniques have specific advantages and disadvantages. AFLP is more universally applicable, but short tandem repeat analysis offers better discriminatory power and should be the preferred method for standardizing typing of clinical isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus. PMID:17376887

  13. Effects of Iron Chelators on the Formation and Development of Aspergillus fumigatus Biofilm.

    PubMed

    Nazik, Hasan; Penner, John C; Ferreira, Jose A; Haagensen, Janus A J; Cohen, Kevin; Spormann, Alfred M; Martinez, Marife; Chen, Vicky; Hsu, Joe L; Clemons, Karl V; Stevens, David A

    2015-10-01

    Iron acquisition is crucial for the growth of Aspergillus fumigatus. A. fumigatus biofilm formation occurs in vitro and in vivo and is associated with physiological changes. In this study, we assessed the effects of Fe chelators on biofilm formation and development. Deferiprone (DFP), deferasirox (DFS), and deferoxamine (DFM) were tested for MIC against a reference isolate via a broth macrodilution method. The metabolic effects (assessed by XTT [2,3-bis[2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl]-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide inner salt]) on biofilm formation by conidia were studied upon exposure to DFP, DFM, DFP plus FeCl3, or FeCl3 alone. A preformed biofilm was exposed to DFP with or without FeCl3. The DFP and DFS MIC50 against planktonic A. fumigatus was 1,250 μM, and XTT gave the same result. DFM showed no planktonic inhibition at concentrations of ≤2,500 μM. By XTT testing, DFM concentrations of <1,250 μM had no effect, whereas DFP at 2,500 μM increased biofilms forming in A. fumigatus or preformed biofilms (P < 0.01). DFP at 156 to 2,500 μM inhibited biofilm formation (P < 0.01 to 0.001) in a dose-responsive manner. Biofilm formation with 625 μM DFP plus any concentration of FeCl3 was lower than that in the controls (P < 0.05 to 0.001). FeCl3 at ≥625 μM reversed the DFP inhibitory effect (P < 0.05 to 0.01), but the reversal was incomplete compared to the controls (P < 0.05 to 0.01). For preformed biofilms, DFP in the range of ≥625 to 1,250 μM was inhibitory compared to the controls (P < 0.01 to 0.001). FeCl3 at ≥625 μM overcame inhibition by 625 μM DFP (P < 0.001). FeCl3 alone at ≥156 μM stimulated biofilm formation (P < 0.05 to 0.001). Preformed A. fumigatus biofilm increased with 2,500 μM FeCl3 only (P < 0.05). In a strain survey, various susceptibilities of biofilms of A. fumigatus clinical isolates to DFP were noted. In conclusion, iron stimulates biofilm formation and preformed biofilms. Chelators can inhibit or enhance biofilms. Chelation

  14. Particle size distribution of airborne Aspergillus fumigatus spores emitted from compost using membrane filtration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deacon, L. J.; Pankhurst, L. J.; Drew, G. H.; Hayes, E. T.; Jackson, S.; Longhurst, P. J.; Longhurst, J. W. S.; Liu, J.; Pollard, S. J. T.; Tyrrel, S. F.

    Information on the particle size distribution of bioaerosols emitted from open air composting operations is valuable in evaluating potential health impacts and is a requirement for improved dispersion simulation modelling. The membrane filter method was used to study the particle size distribution of Aspergillus fumigatus spores in air 50 m downwind of a green waste compost screening operation at a commercial facility. The highest concentrations (approximately 8 × 10 4 CFU m -3) of culturable spores were found on filters with pore diameters in the range 1-2 μm which suggests that the majority of spores are emitted as single cells. The findings were compared to published data collected using an Andersen sampler. Results were significantly correlated ( p < 0.01) indicating that the two methods are directly comparable across all particles sizes for Aspergillus spores.

  15. Gene cloning, purification, and characterization of a heat-stable phytase from the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed Central

    Pasamontes, L; Haiker, M; Wyss, M; Tessier, M; van Loon, A P

    1997-01-01

    The finding of heat-stable enzymes or the engineering of moderately thermostable enzymes into more stable ones by random or site-directed mutagenesis has become a main priority of modern biotechnology. We report here for the first time a heat-stable phytase able to withstand temperatures up to 100 degrees C over a period of 20 min, with a loss of only 10% of the initial enzymatic activity. The gene (phyA) encoding this heat-stable enzyme has been cloned from Aspergillus fumigatus and overexpressed in Aspergillus niger. The enzyme showed high activity with 4-nitrophenyl phosphate at a pH range of 3 to 5 and with phytic acid at a pH range of 2.5 to 7.5. PMID:9143104

  16. Genetic and structural validation of Aspergillus fumigatus N-acetylphosphoglucosamine mutase as an antifungal target

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Wenxia; Du, Ting; Raimi, Olawale G.; Hurtado-Guerrero, Ramón; Mariño, Karina; Ibrahim, Adel F. M.; Albarbarawi, Osama; Ferguson, Michael A. J.; Jin, Cheng; Van Aalten, Daan M. F.

    2013-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the causative agent of IA (invasive aspergillosis) in immunocompromised patients. It possesses a cell wall composed of chitin, glucan and galactomannan, polymeric carbohydrates synthesized by processive glycosyltransferases from intracellular sugar nucleotide donors. Here we demonstrate that A. fumigatus possesses an active AfAGM1 (A. fumigatus N-acetylphosphoglucosamine mutase), a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of UDP (uridine diphosphate)–GlcNAc (N-acetylglucosamine), the nucleotide sugar donor for chitin synthesis. A conditional agm1 mutant revealed the gene to be essential. Reduced expression of agm1 resulted in retarded cell growth and altered cell wall ultrastructure and composition. The crystal structure of AfAGM1 revealed an amino acid change in the active site compared with the human enzyme, which could be exploitable in the design of selective inhibitors. AfAGM1 inhibitors were discovered by high-throughput screening, inhibiting the enzyme with IC50s in the low μM range. Together, these data provide a platform for the future development of AfAGM1 inhibitors with antifungal activity. PMID:23844980

  17. Genetic engineering activates biosynthesis of aromatic fumaric acid amides in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Kalb, Daniel; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Lackner, Gerald; Scharf, Daniel H; Dahse, Hans-Martin; Brakhage, Axel A; Hoffmeister, Dirk

    2015-03-01

    The Aspergillus fumigatus nonribosomal peptide synthetase FtpA is among the few of this species whose natural product has remained unknown. Both FtpA adenylation domains were characterized in vitro. Fumaric acid was identified as preferred substrate of the first and both l-tyrosine and l-phenylalanine as preferred substrates of the second adenylation domain. Genetically engineered A. fumigatus strains expressed either ftpA or the regulator gene ftpR, encoded in the same cluster of genes, under the control of the doxycycline-inducible tetracycline-induced transcriptional activation (tet-on) cassette. These strains produced fumaryl-l-tyrosine and fumaryl-l-phenylalanine which were identified by liquid chromatography and high-resolution mass spectrometry. Modeling of the first adenylation domain in silico provided insight into the structural requirements to bind fumaric acid as peptide synthetase substrate. This work adds aromatic fumaric acid amides to the secondary metabolome of the important human pathogen A. fumigatus which was previously not known as a producer of these compounds.

  18. Trypacidin, a Spore-Borne Toxin from Aspergillus fumigatus, Is Cytotoxic to Lung Cells

    PubMed Central

    Gauthier, Thierry; Wang, Xiaodi; Sifuentes Dos Santos, Joice; Fysikopoulos, Athanasios; Tadrist, Souria; Canlet, Cécile; Artigot, Marie Pierre; Loiseau, Nicolas; Oswald, Isabelle P.; Puel, Olivier

    2012-01-01

    Inhalation of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia can cause severe aspergillosis in immunosuppressed people. A. fumigatus produces a large number of secondary metabolites, some of which are airborne by conidia and whose toxicity to the respiratory tract has not been investigated. We found that spores of A. fumigatus contain five main compounds, tryptoquivaline F, fumiquinazoline C, questin, monomethylsulochrin and trypacidin. Fractionation of culture extracts using RP-HPLC and LC-MS showed that samples containing questin, monomethylsulochrin and trypacidin were toxic to the human A549 lung cell line. These compounds were purified and their structure verified using NMR in order to compare their toxicity against A549 cells. Trypacidin was the most toxic, decreasing cell viability and triggering cell lysis, both effects occurring at an IC50 close to 7 µM. Trypacidin toxicity was also observed in the same concentration range on human bronchial epithelial cells. In the first hour of exposure, trypacidin initiates the intracellular formation of nitric oxide (NO) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). This oxidative stress triggers necrotic cell death in the following 24 h. The apoptosis pathway, moreover, was not involved in the cell death process as trypacidin did not induce apoptotic bodies or a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential. This is the first time that the toxicity of trypacidin to lung cells has been reported. PMID:22319557

  19. Interactions of Aspergillus fumigatus Conidia with Airway Epithelial Cells: A Critical Review

    PubMed Central

    Croft, Carys A.; Culibrk, Luka; Moore, Margo M.; Tebbutt, Scott J.

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an environmental filamentous fungus that also acts as an opportunistic pathogen able to cause a variety of symptoms, from an allergic response to a life-threatening disseminated fungal infection. The infectious agents are inhaled conidia whose first point of contact is most likely to be an airway epithelial cell (AEC). The interaction between epithelial cells and conidia is multifaceted and complex, and has implications for later steps in pathogenesis. Increasing evidence has demonstrated a key role for the airway epithelium in the response to respiratory pathogens, particularly at early stages of infection; therefore, elucidating the early stages of interaction of conidia with AECs is essential to understand the establishment of infection in cohorts of at-risk patients. Here, we present a comprehensive review of the early interactions between A. fumigatus and AECs, including bronchial and alveolar epithelial cells. We describe mechanisms of adhesion, internalization of conidia by AECs, the immune response of AECs, as well as the role of fungal virulence factors, and patterns of fungal gene expression characteristic of early infection. A clear understanding of the mechanisms involved in the early establishment of infection by A. fumigatus could point to novel targets for therapy and prophylaxis. PMID:27092126

  20. Genetic Engineering Activates Biosynthesis of Aromatic Fumaric Acid Amides in the Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Kalb, Daniel; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Lackner, Gerald; Scharf, Daniel H.; Dahse, Hans-Martin; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2014-01-01

    The Aspergillus fumigatus nonribosomal peptide synthetase FtpA is among the few of this species whose natural product has remained unknown. Both FtpA adenylation domains were characterized in vitro. Fumaric acid was identified as preferred substrate of the first and both l-tyrosine and l-phenylalanine as preferred substrates of the second adenylation domain. Genetically engineered A. fumigatus strains expressed either ftpA or the regulator gene ftpR, encoded in the same cluster of genes, under the control of the doxycycline-inducible tetracycline-induced transcriptional activation (tet-on) cassette. These strains produced fumaryl-l-tyrosine and fumaryl-l-phenylalanine which were identified by liquid chromatography and high-resolution mass spectrometry. Modeling of the first adenylation domain in silico provided insight into the structural requirements to bind fumaric acid as peptide synthetase substrate. This work adds aromatic fumaric acid amides to the secondary metabolome of the important human pathogen A. fumigatus which was previously not known as a producer of these compounds. PMID:25527545

  1. Chemotypic and genotypic diversity in the ergot alkaloid pathway of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Sarah L; Panaccione, Daniel G

    2012-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic human pathogen that synthesizes a group of mycotoxins via a branch of the ergot alkaloid pathway. This fungus is globally distributed, and genetic data indicate that isolates recombine freely over that range; however, previous work on ergot alkaloids has focused on a limited number of isolates. We hypothesized that A. fumigatus harbors variation in the chemotype of ergot alkaloids and genotype of the ergot alkaloid gene cluster. Analysis of 13 isolates by high performance liquid chromatography revealed four distinct ergot alkaloid profiles or chemotypes. Five isolates completed the A. fumigatus branch of the ergot alkaloid pathway to fumigaclavine C. Six independent isolates accumulated fumigaclavine A, the pathway intermediate immediately before fumigaclavine C. One isolate accumulated only the early pathway intermediates chanoclavine-i and chanocla-vine-i aldehyde, and one isolate lacked ergot alkaloids altogether. A genetic basis for each of the observed chemotypes was obtained either by PCR analysis of the ergot alkaloid gene cluster or through sequencing of easL, the gene encoding the prenyl transferase that reverse prenylates fumigaclavine A to fumigaclavine C. Isolates also exhibited differences in pigmentation and sporulation. The ergot alkaloid chemotypes were widely distributed geographically and among substrate of origin. PMID:22453123

  2. GliZ, a Transcriptional Regulator of Gliotoxin Biosynthesis, Contributes to Aspergillus fumigatus Virulence▿

    PubMed Central

    Bok, Jin Woo; Chung, DaWoon; Balajee, S. Arunmozhi; Marr, Kieren A.; Andes, David; Nielsen, Kristian Fog; Frisvad, Jens C.; Kirby, Katharine A.; Keller, Nancy P.

    2006-01-01

    Gliotoxin is a nonribosomal peptide produced by Aspergillus fumigatus. This compound has been proposed as an A. fumigatus virulence factor due to its cytotoxic, genotoxic, and apoptotic properties. Recent identification of the gliotoxin gene cluster identified several genes (gli genes) likely involved in gliotoxin production, including gliZ, encoding a putative Zn2Cys6 binuclear transcription factor. Replacement of gliZ with a marker gene (ΔgliZ) resulted in no detectable gliotoxin production and loss of gene expression of other gli cluster genes. Placement of multiple copies of gliZ in the genome increased gliotoxin production. Using endpoint survival data, the ΔgliZ and a multiple-copy gliZ strain were not statistically different from the wild type in a murine pulmonary model; however, both the wild-type and the multiple-copy gliZ strain were more virulent than ΔlaeA (a mutant reduced in production of gliotoxin and other toxins). A flow-cytometric analysis of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) exposed to supernatants from wild-type, ΔgliZ, complemented ΔgliZ, and ΔlaeA strains supported a role for gliotoxin in apoptotic but not necrotic PMN cell death. This may indicate that several secondary metabolites are involved in A. fumigatus virulence. PMID:17030582

  3. Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor is required in Aspergillus fumigatus for morphogenesis and virulence.

    PubMed

    Li, Hong; Zhou, Hui; Luo, Yuanming; Ouyang, Haomiao; Hu, Hongyan; Jin, Cheng

    2007-05-01

    In yeast, glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) is essential for viability and plays an important role in biosynthesis and organization of cell wall. Initiation of the GPI anchor biosynthesis is catalysed by the GPI-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase complex (GPI-GnT). The GPI3 (SPT14) gene is thought to encode the catalytic subunit of GPI-GnT complex. In contrast to Saccharomyces cerevisiae, little is known about the GPI biosynthesis in filamentous fungi. In this study, the afpig-a gene was identified as the homologue of the GPI3/pig-A gene in Aspergillus fumigatus, an opportunistic fungal pathogen. By replacement of the afpig-a gene with a pyrG gene, we obtained the null mutants. Although the Deltaafpig-a mutant exhibited a significant increased cell lysis instead of temperature-sensitive or conditional lethal phenotype associated to the GPI3 mutant of yeast, they could survive at temperatures from 30 degrees C to 50 degrees C. The analysis of the mutants showed that a completely blocking of the GPI anchor synthesis in A. fumigatus led to cell wall defect, abnormal hyphal growth, rapid conidial germination and aberrant conidiation. In vivo assays revealed that the mutant exhibited a reduced virulence in immunocompromised mice. The GPI anchor was not essential for viability, but required for the cell wall integrity, morphogenesis and virulence in A. fumigatus. PMID:17501924

  4. In vitro resistance of Aspergillus fumigatus to azole farm fungicide.

    PubMed

    Kano, Rui; Sobukawa, Hideto; Murayama, Somay Yamagata; Hirose, Dai; Tanaka, Yoko; Kosuge, Yasuhiro; Hasegawa, Atsuhiko; Kamata, Hiroshi

    2016-03-01

    Azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus is mainly due to a point mutation in the 14α-sterol demethylase (CYP51A) gene, which encodes the target of azole fungicides. Moreover, overexpression of CYP51B or multidrug resistance (MDR) gene is supposedly related to the mechanism of azole resistance in A. fumigatus. In this study, we tried to induce resistance to tetraconazole, an azole fungicide, in strains of A. fumigatus from a farm and then investigated mutation and expression of their CYP51A, CYP51B, and multidrug resistance (MDR) genes. Three tetraconazole resistant strains were induced and their minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for tetraconazole was 145 mg/L. However, the MICs of itraconazole (ITZ), posaconazole (POS), and voriconazole (VRZ) obtained by an E-test of the three tetraconazole resistant strains were 0.064-0.19 mg/L for ITZ, 0.023-0.32 mg/L for POS, and 0.047-0.064 mg/L for VRZ. No gene mutations were detected in the CYP 51A sequence amplified in these strains. RT-PCR of cyp51A and cyp51B indicated that the tetraconazole resistant strains more highly expressed these genes than the susceptible strain in tetraconazole containing medium.

  5. Recent advances in the understanding of the Aspergillus fumigatus cell wall.

    PubMed

    Lee, Mark J; Sheppard, Donald C

    2016-03-01

    Over the past several decades, research on the synthesis and organization of the cell wall polysaccharides of Aspergillus fumigatus has expanded our knowledge of this important fungal structure. Besides protecting the fungus from environmental stresses and maintaining structural integrity of the organism, the cell wall is also the primary site for interaction with host tissues during infection. Cell wall polysaccharides are important ligands for the recognition of fungi by the innate immune system and they can mediate potent immunomodulatory effects. The synthesis of cell wall polysaccharides is a complicated process that requires coordinated regulation of many biosynthetic and metabolic pathways. Continuous synthesis and remodeling of the polysaccharides of the cell wall is essential for the survival of the fungus during development, reproduction, colonization and invasion. As these polysaccharides are absent from the human host, these biosynthetic pathways are attractive targets for antifungal development. In this review, we present recent advances in our understanding of Aspergillus fumigatus cell wall polysaccharides, including the emerging role of cell wall polysaccharides in the host-pathogen interaction.

  6. Monoclonal Immunoglobulin G1 Directed against Aspergillus fumigatus Cell Wall Glycoprotein Protects against Experimental Murine Aspergillosis†

    PubMed Central

    Chaturvedi, Ashok K.; Kavishwar, A.; Keshava, G. B. Shiva; Shukla, P. K.

    2005-01-01

    Most of the biological functions related to pathogenicity and virulence reside in the fungal cell wall, which, being the outermost part of the cell, mediates the host-fungus interplay. For these reasons much effort has focused on the discovery of useful inhibitors of cell wall glucan, chitin, and mannoprotein biosynthesis. In the absence of a wide-spectrum, safe, and potent antifungal agent, a new strategy for antifungal therapy is directed towards the development of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). In the present study the MAb A9 (immunoglobulin G1 [IgG1]) was identified from hybridomas raised in BALB/c mice immunized with cell wall antigen of Aspergillus fumigatus. The immunoreactive epitopes for this IgG1 MAb appeared to be associated with a peptide moiety, and indirect immunofluorescence microscopy revealed its binding to the cell wall surface of hyphae as well as with swollen conidia. MAb A9 inhibited hyphal development as observed by MTT [3-(4,5-dimethythiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] assay (25.76%), reduced the duration of spore germination, and exerted an in vitro cidal effect against Aspergillus fumigatus. The in vivo protective efficacy of MAb A9 was also evaluated in a murine model of invasive aspergillosis, where a reduction in CFU (>4 log10 units) was observed in kidney tissue of BALB/c mice challenged with A. fumigatus (2 × 105 CFU/ml) and where enhanced mean survival times (19.5 days) compared to the control (7.1 days) and an irrelevant MAb (6.1 days) were also observed. PMID:16148172

  7. Changes in Atmospheric CO2 Influence the Allergenicity of Aspergillus fumigatus fungal spore

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lang-Yona, N.; Levin, Y.; Dannemoller, K. C.; Yarden, O.; Peccia, J.; Rudich, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Increased allergic susceptibility has been documented without a comprehensive understanding for its causes. Therefore understanding trends and mechanisms of allergy inducing agents is essential. In this study we investigated whether elevated atmospheric CO2 levels can affect the allergenicity of Aspergillus fumigatus, a common allergenic fungal species. Both direct exposure to changing CO2 levels during fungal growth, and indirect exposure through changes in the C:N ratios in the growth media were inspected. We determined the allergenicity of the spores through two types of immunoassays, accompanied with genes expression analysis, and proteins relative quantification. We show that fungi grown under present day CO2 levels (392 ppm) exhibit 8.5 and 3.5 fold higher allergenicity compared to fungi grown at preindustrial (280 ppm) and double (560 ppm) CO2 levels, respectively. A corresponding trend is observed in the expression of genes encoding for known allergenic proteins and in the major allergen Asp f1 concentrations, possibly due to physiological changes such as respiration rates and the nitrogen content of the fungus, influenced by the CO2 concentrations. Increased carbon and nitrogen levels in the growth medium also lead to a significant increase in the allergenicity, for which we propose two different biological mechanisms. We suggest that climatic changes such as increasing atmospheric CO2 levels and changes in the fungal growth medium may impact the ability of allergenic fungi such as Aspergillus fumigatus to induce allergies. The effect of changing CO2 concentrations on the total allergenicity per 10^7 spores of A. fumigatus (A), the major allergen Asp f1 concentration in ng per 10^7 spores (B), and the gene expression by RT-PCR (C). The error bars represent the standard error of the mean.

  8. Transcriptional and Proteomic Analysis of the Aspergillus fumigatus ΔprtT Protease-Deficient Mutant

    PubMed Central

    Hagag, Shelly; Kubitschek-Barreira, Paula; Neves, Gabriela W. P.; Amar, David; Nierman, William; Shalit, Itamar; Shamir, Ron; Lopes-Bezerra, Leila; Osherov, Nir

    2012-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common opportunistic mold pathogen of humans, infecting immunocompromised patients. The fungus invades the lungs and other organs, causing severe damage. Penetration of the pulmonary epithelium is a key step in the infectious process. A. fumigatus produces extracellular proteases to degrade the host structural barriers. The A. fumigatus transcription factor PrtT controls the expression of multiple secreted proteases. PrtT shows similarity to the fungal Gal4-type Zn(2)-Cys(6) DNA-binding domain of several transcription factors. In this work, we further investigate the function of this transcription factor by performing a transcriptional and a proteomic analysis of the ΔprtT mutant. Unexpectedly, microarray analysis revealed that in addition to the expected decrease in protease expression, expression of genes involved in iron uptake and ergosterol synthesis was dramatically decreased in the ΔprtT mutant. A second finding of interest is that deletion of prtT resulted in the upregulation of four secondary metabolite clusters, including genes for the biosynthesis of toxic pseurotin A. Proteomic analysis identified reduced levels of three secreted proteases (ALP1 protease, TppA, AFUA_2G01250) and increased levels of three secreted polysaccharide-degrading enzymes in the ΔprtT mutant possibly in response to its inability to derive sufficient nourishment from protein breakdown. This report highlights the complexity of gene regulation by PrtT, and suggests a potential novel link between the regulation of protease secretion and the control of iron uptake, ergosterol biosynthesis and secondary metabolite production in A. fumigatus. PMID:22514608

  9. Aspergillus fumigatus and other thermophilic fungi in nests of wetland birds.

    PubMed

    Korniłłowicz-Kowalska, Teresa; Kitowski, Ignacy

    2013-02-01

    A study was performed on the numbers and species diversity of thermophilic fungi (growing at 45 °C in vitro) in 38 nests of 9 species of wetland birds, taking into account the physicochemical properties of the nests and the bird species. It was found that in nests with the maximum weight (nests of Mute Swan), the number and diversity of thermophilic fungi were significantly greater than in other nests, with lower weight. The diversity of the thermophilic biota was positively correlated with the individual mass of bird and with the level of phosphorus in the nests. The dominant species within the mycobiota under study was Aspergillus fumigatus which inhabited 95% of the nests under study, with average frequency of ca. 650 cfu g(-1) of dry mass of the nest material. In a majority of the nests studied (nests of 7 bird species), the share of A. fumigatus exceeded 50% of the total fungi growing at 45 °C. Significantly higher frequencies of the fungal species were characteristic of the nests of small and medium-sized piscivorous species, compared with the other bird species. The number of A. fumigatus increased with increase in the moisture level of the nests, whereas the frequency of occurrence of that opportunistic pathogen, opposite to the general frequency of thermophilic mycobiota, was negatively correlated with the level of phosphorus in the nest material, and with the body mass and length of the birds. The authors indicate the causes of varied growth of thermophilic fungi in nests of wetland birds and, in particular, present a discussion of the causes of accumulation of A. fumigatus, the related threats to the birds, and its role as a source of transmission in the epidemiological chain of aspergillosis. PMID:23054328

  10. Aspergillus fumigatus and other thermophilic fungi in nests of wetland birds.

    PubMed

    Korniłłowicz-Kowalska, Teresa; Kitowski, Ignacy

    2013-02-01

    A study was performed on the numbers and species diversity of thermophilic fungi (growing at 45 °C in vitro) in 38 nests of 9 species of wetland birds, taking into account the physicochemical properties of the nests and the bird species. It was found that in nests with the maximum weight (nests of Mute Swan), the number and diversity of thermophilic fungi were significantly greater than in other nests, with lower weight. The diversity of the thermophilic biota was positively correlated with the individual mass of bird and with the level of phosphorus in the nests. The dominant species within the mycobiota under study was Aspergillus fumigatus which inhabited 95% of the nests under study, with average frequency of ca. 650 cfu g(-1) of dry mass of the nest material. In a majority of the nests studied (nests of 7 bird species), the share of A. fumigatus exceeded 50% of the total fungi growing at 45 °C. Significantly higher frequencies of the fungal species were characteristic of the nests of small and medium-sized piscivorous species, compared with the other bird species. The number of A. fumigatus increased with increase in the moisture level of the nests, whereas the frequency of occurrence of that opportunistic pathogen, opposite to the general frequency of thermophilic mycobiota, was negatively correlated with the level of phosphorus in the nest material, and with the body mass and length of the birds. The authors indicate the causes of varied growth of thermophilic fungi in nests of wetland birds and, in particular, present a discussion of the causes of accumulation of A. fumigatus, the related threats to the birds, and its role as a source of transmission in the epidemiological chain of aspergillosis.

  11. Ergot cluster-encoded catalase is required for synthesis of chanoclavine-I in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Goetz, Kerry E; Coyle, Christine M; Cheng, Johnathan Z; O'Connor, Sarah E; Panaccione, Daniel G

    2011-06-01

    Genes required for ergot alkaloid biosynthesis are clustered in the genomes of several fungi. Several conserved ergot cluster genes have been hypothesized, and in some cases demonstrated, to encode early steps of the pathway shared among fungi that ultimately make different ergot alkaloid end products. The deduced amino acid sequence of one of these conserved genes (easC) indicates a catalase as the product, but a role for a catalase in the ergot alkaloid pathway has not been established. We disrupted easC of Aspergillus fumigatus by homologous recombination with a truncated copy of that gene. The resulting mutant (ΔeasC) failed to produce the ergot alkaloids typically observed in A. fumigatus, including chanoclavine-I, festuclavine, and fumigaclavines B, A, and C. The ΔeasC mutant instead accumulated N-methyl-4-dimethylallyltryptophan (N-Me-DMAT), an intermediate recently shown to accumulate in Claviceps purpurea strains mutated at ccsA (called easE in A. fumigatus) (Lorenz et al. Appl Environ Microbiol 76:1822-1830, 2010). A ΔeasE disruption mutant of A. fumigatus also failed to accumulate chanoclavine-I and downstream ergot alkaloids and, instead, accumulated N-Me-DMAT. Feeding chanoclavine-I to the ΔeasC mutant restored ergot alkaloid production. Complementation of either ΔeasC or ΔeasE mutants with the respective wild-type allele also restored ergot alkaloid production. The easC gene was expressed in Escherichia coli, and the protein product displayed in vitro catalase activity with H(2)O(2) but did not act, in isolation, on N-Me-DMAT as substrate. The data indicate that the products of both easC (catalase) and easE (FAD-dependent oxidoreductase) are required for conversion of N-Me-DMAT to chanoclavine-I. PMID:21409592

  12. A Proteomic Approach to Investigating Gene Cluster Expression and Secondary Metabolite Functionality in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Owens, Rebecca A.; Hammel, Stephen; Sheridan, Kevin J.; Jones, Gary W.; Doyle, Sean

    2014-01-01

    A combined proteomics and metabolomics approach was utilised to advance the identification and characterisation of secondary metabolites in Aspergillus fumigatus. Here, implementation of a shotgun proteomic strategy led to the identification of non-redundant mycelial proteins (n = 414) from A. fumigatus including proteins typically under-represented in 2-D proteome maps: proteins with multiple transmembrane regions, hydrophobic proteins and proteins with extremes of molecular mass and pI. Indirect identification of secondary metabolite cluster expression was also achieved, with proteins (n = 18) from LaeA-regulated clusters detected, including GliT encoded within the gliotoxin biosynthetic cluster. Biochemical analysis then revealed that gliotoxin significantly attenuates H2O2-induced oxidative stress in A. fumigatus (p>0.0001), confirming observations from proteomics data. A complementary 2-D/LC-MS/MS approach further elucidated significantly increased abundance (p<0.05) of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), NADH-quinone oxidoreductase and the gliotoxin oxidoreductase GliT, along with significantly attenuated abundance (p<0.05) of a heat shock protein, an oxidative stress protein and an autolysis-associated chitinase, when gliotoxin and H2O2 were present, compared to H2O2 alone. Moreover, gliotoxin exposure significantly reduced the abundance of selected proteins (p<0.05) involved in de novo purine biosynthesis. Significantly elevated abundance (p<0.05) of a key enzyme, xanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl transferase Xpt1, utilised in purine salvage, was observed in the presence of H2O2 and gliotoxin. This work provides new insights into the A. fumigatus proteome and experimental strategies, plus mechanistic data pertaining to gliotoxin functionality in the organism. PMID:25198175

  13. Disseminated Trichosporon mycotoxinivorans, Aspergillus fumigatus, and Scedosporium apiospermum Coinfection after Lung and Liver Transplantation in a Cystic Fibrosis Patient

    PubMed Central

    Letscher-Bru, Valérie; Pottecher, Julien; Lannes, Béatrice; Jeung, Mi Young; Degot, Tristan; Santelmo, Nicola; Sabou, Alina Marcela; Herbrecht, Raoul; Kessler, Romain

    2012-01-01

    Trichosporon mycotoxinivorans is a novel pathogen recently found in cystic fibrosis patients. We report the first case of a disseminated fatal infection with T. mycotoxinivorans associated with invasive Aspergillus fumigatus and Scedosporium apiospermum infection after lung and liver transplantation in a cystic fibrosis patient. PMID:23035187

  14. Indoleamine 2,3-Dioxygenase Is Involved in the Inflammation Response of Corneal Epithelial Cells to Aspergillus fumigatus Infections

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Nan; Zhao, Guiqiu; Lin, Jing; Hu, Liting; Che, Chengye; Li, Cui; Wang, Qian; Xu, Qiang; Peng, Xudong

    2015-01-01

    Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), which is mainly expressed in activated dendritic cells, is known as a regulator of immune responses. However, the role of IDO in immune responses against fungal corneal infection has not been investigated. To evaluate the regulatory mechanisms of IDO in fungal inflammation, we resorted to human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs), known as the first barrier of cornea against pathogenic microorganisms. We found that IDO was significantly up-regulated in corneal epithelium infected with Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) and HCECs incubated with spores of A. fumigatus. Furthermore, IDO inhibitor (1-methyltryptophan, 1-MT) enhanced inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-6 expression which were up-regulated by A. fumigatus spores infection. Dectin-1, as one of the important C-type lectin receptors, can identify β-glucan, and mediate fungal innate immune responses. In the present study, pre-treatment with curdlan, a Dectin-1 agonist, further enhanced IDO expression compared with A. fumigatus stimulation. While laminarin, the Dectin-1 specific inhibitor, partially inhibited IDO expression stimulated by A. fumigatus. Further studies demonstrated inhibition of IDO activity amplified the expressions of inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-6 induced by activation of Dectin-1. These results suggested that IDO was involved in the immune responses of fungal keratitis. The activation of Dectin-1 may contribute to A. fumigatus spores-induced up-regulation of IDO. PMID:26361229

  15. Characterization and genetic variability of feed-borne and clinical animal/human Aspergillus fumigatus strains using molecular markers.

    PubMed

    Pena, Gabriela A; Coelho, Irene; Reynoso, María M; Soleiro, Carla; Cavaglieri, Lilia R

    2015-09-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus, the major etiological agent of human and animal aspergillosis, is a toxigenic fungus largely regarded as a single species by macroscopic and microscopic features. However, molecular studies have demonstrated that several morphologically identified A. fumigatus strains might be genetically distinct. This work was aimed to apply PCR-restriction length fragment polymorphisms (PCR-RFLP) and random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) molecular markers to characterize a set of feed-borne and clinical A. fumigatus sensu lato strains isolated from Argentina and Brazil and to determine and compare their genetic variability. All A. fumigatus strains had the same band profile and those typical of A. fumigatus sensu stricto positive controls by PCR-RFLP. Moreover, all Argentinian and Brazilian strains typified by RAPD showed similar band patterns to each other and to A. fumigatus sensu stricto reference strains regardless of their isolation source (animal feeds or human/animal clinical cases) and geographic origin. Genetic similarity coefficients ranged from 0.61 to 1.00, but almost all isolates showed 78% of genetic similarly suggesting that genetic variability was found at intraspecific level. Finally, benA sequencing confirmed its identification as A. fumigatus sensu stricto species. These results suggest that A. fumigatus sensu stricto is a predominant species into Aspergillus section Fumigati found in animal environments as well as in human/animal clinical cases, while other species may be rarely isolated. The strains involved in human and animal aspergillosis could come from the environment where this fungus is frequently found. Rural workers and animals would be constantly exposed.

  16. Inducible expression of beta defensins by human respiratory epithelial cells exposed to Aspergillus fumigatus organisms

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Aspergillus fumigatus, a saprophytic mould, is responsible for life-threatening, invasive pulmonary diseases in immunocompromised hosts. The role of the airway epithelium involves a complex interaction with the inhaled pathogen. Antimicrobial peptides with direct antifungal and chemotactic activities may boost antifungal immune response. Results The inducible expression of defensins by human bronchial epithelial 16HBE cells and A549 pneumocyte cells exposed to A. fumigatus was investigated. Using RT-PCR and real time PCR, we showed an activation of hBD2 and hBD9 defensin genes: the expression was higher in cells exposed to swollen conidia (SC), compared to resting conidia (RC) or hyphal fragments (HF). The kinetics of defensin expression was different for each one, evoking a putative distinct function for each investigated defensin. The decrease of defensin expression in the presence of heat-inactivated serum indicated a possible link between defensins and the proteins of the host complement system. The presence of defensin peptide hBD2 was revealed using immunofluorescence that showed a punctual cytoplasmic and perinuclear staining. Quantification of the cells stained with anti hBD2 antibody demonstrated that SC induced a greater number of cells that synthesized hBD2, compared to RC or HF. Labelling of the cells with anti-hBD-2 antibody showed a positive immunofluorescence signal around RC or SC in contrast to HF. This suggests co-localisation of hBD2 and digested conidia. The HBD2 level was highest in the supernatants of cells exposed to SC, as was determined by sandwich ELISA. Experiments using neutralising anti-interleukine-1β antibody reflect the autocrine mechanism of defensin expression induced by SC. Investigation of defensin expression at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels demonstrated the requirement of transcription as well as new protein synthesis during A. fumigatus defensin induction. Finally, induced defensin expression in

  17. Interplay between Gliotoxin Resistance, Secretion, and the Methyl/Methionine Cycle in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Owens, Rebecca A.; O'Keeffe, Grainne; Smith, Elizabeth B.; Dolan, Stephen K.; Hammel, Stephen; Sheridan, Kevin J.; Fitzpatrick, David A.; Keane, Thomas M.

    2015-01-01

    Mechanistic studies on gliotoxin biosynthesis and self-protection in Aspergillus fumigatus, both of which require the gliotoxin oxidoreductase GliT, have revealed a rich landscape of highly novel biochemistries, yet key aspects of this complex molecular architecture remain obscure. Here we show that an A. fumigatus ΔgliA strain is completely deficient in gliotoxin secretion but still retains the ability to efflux bisdethiobis(methylthio)gliotoxin (BmGT). This correlates with a significant increase in sensitivity to exogenous gliotoxin because gliotoxin trapped inside the cell leads to (i) activation of the gli cluster, as disabling gli cluster activation, via gliZ deletion, attenuates the sensitivity of an A. fumigatus ΔgliT strain to gliotoxin, thus implicating cluster activation as a factor in gliotoxin sensitivity, and (ii) increased methylation activity due to excess substrate (dithiol gliotoxin) for the gliotoxin bis-thiomethyltransferase GtmA. Intracellular dithiol gliotoxin is oxidized by GliT and subsequently effluxed by GliA. In the absence of GliA, gliotoxin persists in the cell and is converted to BmGT, with levels significantly higher than those in the wild type. Similarly, in the ΔgliT strain, gliotoxin oxidation is impeded, and methylation occurs unchecked, leading to significant S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) depletion and S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) overproduction. This in turn significantly contributes to the observed hypersensitivity of gliT-deficient A. fumigatus to gliotoxin. Our observations reveal a key role for GliT in preventing dysregulation of the methyl/methionine cycle to control intracellular SAM and SAH homeostasis during gliotoxin biosynthesis and exposure. Moreover, we reveal attenuated GliT abundance in the A. fumigatus ΔgliK strain, but not the ΔgliG strain, following exposure to gliotoxin, correlating with relative sensitivities. Overall, we illuminate new systems interactions that have evolved in gliotoxin-producing, compared

  18. Aspergillus fumigatus densities in relation to forest succession and edge effects: implications for wildlife health in modified environments.

    PubMed

    Perrott, John K; Armstrong, Doug P

    2011-09-01

    The hihi (or stitchbird, Notiomystis cincta) is a New Zealand endemic nectivorous forest bird now restricted to one pristine island. Relocation to establish viable hihi populations on other islands has been the main conservation action since the early 1980s. To date, hihi reintroductions to young growth islands have had poor success despite the absence of mammalian predators. It was thought that past failures were due to food limitation, but research suggests that food limitation alone cannot account for their poor survivorship. Post-mortems of dead hihi has shown that aspergillosis caused by Aspergillus fumigatus is a major mortality factor and there is current concern regarding their susceptibility to this fungal disease. In this paper we develop and assess the hypothesis that A. fumigatus limits hihi population viability on modified islands, and suggest that A. fumigatus is a potential indicator species for habitat disturbance. We report that the prevalence of A. fumigatus spores in the soil is much higher in young growth forests and forest edge habitats. Results suggest that hihi mortality rates between islands are potentially due to differential exposure to A. fumigatus spores. We assess relationships between habitat disturbance, A. fumigatus contamination and hihi mortality rates by testing the following predictions: (1) that densities of A. fumigatus spores will be higher on modified islands, (2) that densities of A. fumigatus spores on islands will be correlated with hihi mortality rates and (3) that densities of A. fumigatus spores will be higher at the forest edge than in the interior. We test each of these predictions using soil samples, air samples and samples of nectar from plant species fed on by hihi. PMID:22076057

  19. Feasibility of mitochondrial single nucleotide polymorphisms to detect and identify Aspergillus fumigatus in clinical samples.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Manuela; Lackner, Michaela; Amorim, António; Araujo, Ricardo

    2014-09-01

    Invasive aspergillosis (IA) is a concerning fungal infection among immunocompromised patients due to the poor outcomes in its treatment related with the delay in an accurate diagnosis. Therefore, this study aimed to select informative mitochondrial single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers suitable for detection and identification of Aspergillus fumigatus in clinical specimens. Four mitochondrial SNP markers were selected (Cox_488, CytB_246, Nad1_802, and NC_171) and tested on clinical and environmental strains of Fumigati and non-Fumigati Aspergillus species (n=105). These markers were tested on clinical samples (n=37) obtained from patients with aspergillosis. The Cox_488 SNP was detected in all clinical samples, whereas complete profiles detecting all 4 SNPs were only obtained from 6 samples (1 lung biopsy, 2 abscesses, and 3 bronchoalveolar lavages) from patients with a probable or proven Aspergillus infection. The mitSNApfu approach based on mitochondrial markers constitutes a new and promising diagnostic approach that was applied successfully on clinical specimens from patients with proven or probable IA. Nevertheless, the assay requires further optimization (in respect to extraction procedures) and clinical validation to allow its application in routine diagnostics.

  20. The Aspergillus nidulans alcA promoter drives tightly regulated conditional gene expression in Aspergillus fumigatus permitting validation of essential genes in this human pathogen.

    PubMed

    Romero, Beatriz; Turner, Geoffrey; Olivas, Israel; Laborda, Fernando; De Lucas, J Ramón

    2003-11-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus causes invasive aspergillosis, a mycosis that is usually fatal in immunocompromised patients. Functional genomics in this fungus will aid the discovery of novel antifungal drugs to treat invasive aspergillosis. However, there is still a need for appropriate molecular genetic tools to facilitate such functional studies. Here, we describe the use of a conditional gene expression system allowing the identification of novel therapeutic targets through validation of essential genes in A. fumigatus. This system is based on the capacity of the Aspergillus nidulans alcA promoter (alcA(p)) to tightly regulate gene expression in this fungus. Conditionally regulated gene expression in A. fumigatus was demonstrated by transcriptional and phenotypic analyses of strains expressing a nuclear migration gene with a terminal phenotype, the A. fumigatus nudC gene, under control of this promoter. This conditional expression system, the first one described in A. fumigatus, will also be useful for investigating the function of essential genes by altering the threonine/glucose ratio in the growth medium.

  1. Development and Evaluation of a Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Method for Rapid Detection of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Qing; Tian, Shuguang; Yu, Nong; Zhang, Xi; Jia, Xiaodong; Zhai, Hongyan

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a conditional pathogen and the major cause of life-threatening invasive aspergillosis (IA) in immunocompromised patients. The early and rapid detection of A. fumigatus infection is still a major challenge. In this study, the new member of the fungal annexin family, annexin C4, was chosen as the target to design a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for the rapid, specific, and sensitive detection of A. fumigatus. The evaluation of the specificity of the LAMP assay that was developed showed that no false-positive results were observed for the 22 non-A. fumigatus strains, including 5 species of the Aspergillus genus. Its detection limit was approximately 10 copies per reaction in reference plasmids, with higher sensitivity than that of real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) at 102 copies for the same target. Clinical samples from a total of 69 patients with probable IA (n = 14) and possible IA (n = 55) were subjected to the LAMP assay, and positive results were found for the 14 patients with probable IA (100%) and 34 patients with possible IA (61.82%). When detection using the LAMP assay was compared with that using qPCR in the 69 clinical samples, the LAMP assay demonstrated a sensitivity of 89.19% and the concordance rate for the two methods was 72.46%. Accordingly, we report that a valuable LAMP assay for the rapid, specific, and simple detection of A. fumigatus in clinical testing has been developed. PMID:26791368

  2. Dataset of differentially regulated proteins in HUVECs challenged with wild type and UGM1 mutant Aspergillus fumigatus strains.

    PubMed

    Neves, Gabriela Westerlund Peixoto; Curty, Nathália; Kubitschek-Barreira, Paula Helena; Fontaine, Thierry; Souza, Gustavo Henrique Martins Ferreira; Cunha, Marcel Lyra; Goldman, Gustavo H; Beauvais, Anne; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Lopes-Bezerra, Leila M

    2016-12-01

    Invasive aspergillosis is the primary opportunistic invasive fungal infection described in neutropenic hematologic patients, caused by the angioinvasive pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. The molecular mechanisms associated with A. fumigatus infection in the vascular endothelium are poorly understood. In this context, we used a high-throughput proteomic approach to unveil the proteins modulated in HUVECs after interaction with a wild type strain and the UGM1 mutant (Δugm1) of A. fumigatus. The proteomic analysis was also performed in HUVECs challenged with a galactosaminogalactan (GAG) purified from A. fumigatus cell wall. The dataset presented here correspond to all proteins identified that fit a 2-fold change criteria (log 2 ratio ≥ 1 or ≤ -1), disregarding the statistical validation cut off, in order to supplement the research article entitled "Modifications to the composition of the hyphal outer layer of Aspergillus fumigatus modulates the HUVEC proteins associated with inflammatory and stress responses" (G.W.P. Neves, N.A. Curty, P.H. Kubitschek-Barreira, T. Fontaine, G.H.M.F. Souza, M. Lyra Cunha, G.H. Goldman, A. Beauvais, J.P. Latgé, L.M. Lopes-Bezerra, 2016) [1]. The mass spectrometry proteomic data have been deposited in the ProteomeXchange Consortium via the PRIDE partner repository with the dataset identifier PRIDE: PXD002823. PMID:27622208

  3. Dataset of differentially regulated proteins in HUVECs challenged with wild type and UGM1 mutant Aspergillus fumigatus strains.

    PubMed

    Neves, Gabriela Westerlund Peixoto; Curty, Nathália; Kubitschek-Barreira, Paula Helena; Fontaine, Thierry; Souza, Gustavo Henrique Martins Ferreira; Cunha, Marcel Lyra; Goldman, Gustavo H; Beauvais, Anne; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Lopes-Bezerra, Leila M

    2016-12-01

    Invasive aspergillosis is the primary opportunistic invasive fungal infection described in neutropenic hematologic patients, caused by the angioinvasive pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. The molecular mechanisms associated with A. fumigatus infection in the vascular endothelium are poorly understood. In this context, we used a high-throughput proteomic approach to unveil the proteins modulated in HUVECs after interaction with a wild type strain and the UGM1 mutant (Δugm1) of A. fumigatus. The proteomic analysis was also performed in HUVECs challenged with a galactosaminogalactan (GAG) purified from A. fumigatus cell wall. The dataset presented here correspond to all proteins identified that fit a 2-fold change criteria (log 2 ratio ≥ 1 or ≤ -1), disregarding the statistical validation cut off, in order to supplement the research article entitled "Modifications to the composition of the hyphal outer layer of Aspergillus fumigatus modulates the HUVEC proteins associated with inflammatory and stress responses" (G.W.P. Neves, N.A. Curty, P.H. Kubitschek-Barreira, T. Fontaine, G.H.M.F. Souza, M. Lyra Cunha, G.H. Goldman, A. Beauvais, J.P. Latgé, L.M. Lopes-Bezerra, 2016) [1]. The mass spectrometry proteomic data have been deposited in the ProteomeXchange Consortium via the PRIDE partner repository with the dataset identifier PRIDE: PXD002823.

  4. Identification and Characterization of an Antifungal Protein, AfAFPR9, Produced by Marine-Derived Aspergillus fumigatus R9.

    PubMed

    Rao, Qi; Guo, Wenbin; Chen, Xinhua

    2015-05-01

    A fungal strain, R9, was isolated from the South Atlantic sediment sample and identified as Aspergillus fumigatus. An antifungal protein, AfAFPR9, was purified from the culture supernatant of Aspergillus fumigatus R9. AfAFPR9 was identified to be restrictocin, which is a member of the ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs), by MALDI-TOF-TOF-MS. AfAFPR9 displayed antifungal activity against plant pathogenic Fusarium oxysporum, Alternaria longipes, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, Paecilomyces variotii, and Trichoderma viride at minimum inhibitory concentrations of 0.6, 0.6, 1.2, 1.2, and 2.4 μg/disc, respectively. Moreover, AfAFPR9 exhibited a certain extent of thermostability, and metal ion and denaturant tolerance. The iodoacetamide assay showed that the disulfide bridge in AfAFPR9 was indispensable for its antifungal action. The cDNA encoding for AfAFPR9 was cloned from A. fumigatus R9 by RTPCR and heterologously expressed in E. coli. The recombinant AfAFPR9 protein exhibited obvious antifungal activity against C. gloeosporioides, T. viride, and A. longipes. These results reveal the antifungal properties of a RIP member (AfAFPR9) from marine-derived Aspergillus fumigatus and indicated its potential application in controlling plant pathogenic fungi. PMID:25394604

  5. Development of a method to detect and quantify Aspergillus fumigatus conidia by quantitative PCR for environmental air samples.

    PubMed

    McDevitt, James J; Lees, Peter S J; Merz, William G; Schwab, Kellogg J

    2004-10-01

    Exposure to Aspergillus fumigatus is linked with respiratory diseases such as asthma, invasive aspergillosis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. Molecular methods using quantitative PCR (qPCR) offer advantages over culture and optical methods for estimating human exposures to microbiological agents such as fungi. We describe an assay that uses lyticase to digest A. fumigatus conidia followed by TaqMan qPCR to quantify released DNA. This method will allow analysis of airborne A. fumigatus samples collected over extended time periods and provide a more representative assessment of chronic exposure. The method was optimized for environmental samples and incorporates: single tube sample preparation to reduce sample loss, maintain simplicity, and avoid contamination; hot start amplification to reduce non-specific primer/probe annealing; and uracil-N-glycosylase to prevent carryover contamination. An A. fumigatus internal standard was developed and used to detect PCR inhibitors potentially found in air samples. The assay detected fewer than 10 A. fumigatus conidia per qPCR reaction and quantified conidia over a 4-log10 range with high linearity (R2 >0.99) and low variability among replicate standards (CV=2.0%) in less than 4 h. The sensitivity and linearity of qPCR for conidia deposited on filters was equivalent to conidia calibration standards. A. fumigatus DNA from 8 isolates was consistently quantified using this method, while non-specific DNA from 14 common environmental fungi, including 6 other Aspergillus species, was not detected. This method provides a means of analyzing long term air samples collected on filters which may enable investigators to correlate airborne environmental A. fumigatus conidia concentrations with adverse health effects.

  6. Multiple resistance mechanisms among Aspergillus fumigatus mutants with high-level resistance to itraconazole.

    PubMed

    Nascimento, Adriana M; Goldman, Gustavo H; Park, Steven; Marras, Salvatore A E; Delmas, Guillaume; Oza, Uma; Lolans, Karen; Dudley, Michael N; Mann, Paul A; Perlin, David S

    2003-05-01

    A collection of Aspergillus fumigatus mutants highly resistant to itraconazole (RIT) at 100 micro g ml(-1) were selected in vitro (following UV irradiation as a preliminary step) to investigate mechanisms of drug resistance in this clinically important pathogen. Eight of the RIT mutants were found to have a mutation at Gly54 (G54E, -K, or -R) in the azole target gene CYP51A. Primers designed for highly conserved regions of multidrug resistance (MDR) pumps were used in reverse transcriptase PCR amplification reactions to identify novel genes encoding potential MDR efflux pumps in A. fumigatus. Two genes, AfuMDR3 and AfuMDR4, showed prominent changes in expression levels in many RIT mutants and were characterized in more detail. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence encoded by AfuMDR3 revealed high similarity to major facilitator superfamily transporters, while AfuMDR4 was a typical member of the ATP-binding cassette superfamily. Real-time quantitative PCR with molecular beacon probes was used to assess expression levels of AfuMDR3 and AfuMDR4. Most RIT mutants showed either constitutive high-level expression of both genes or induction of expression upon exposure to itraconazole. Our results suggest that overexpression of one or both of these newly identified drug efflux pump genes of A. fumigatus and/or selection of drug target site mutations are linked to high-level itraconazole resistance and are mechanistic considerations for the emergence of clinical resistance to itraconazole.

  7. Transcriptional Regulation of Chemical Diversity in Aspergillus fumigatus by LaeA

    PubMed Central

    Perrin, Robyn M; Fedorova, Natalie D; Bok, Jin Woo; Cramer, Robert A; Wortman, Jennifer R; Kim, H. Stanley; Nierman, William C; Keller, Nancy P

    2007-01-01

    Secondary metabolites, including toxins and melanins, have been implicated as virulence attributes in invasive aspergillosis. Although not definitively proved, this supposition is supported by the decreased virulence of an Aspergillus fumigatus strain, ΔlaeA, that is crippled in the production of numerous secondary metabolites. However, loss of a single LaeA-regulated toxin, gliotoxin, did not recapitulate the hypovirulent ΔlaeA pathotype, thus implicating other toxins whose production is governed by LaeA. Toward this end, a whole-genome comparison of the transcriptional profile of wild-type, ΔlaeA, and complemented control strains showed that genes in 13 of 22 secondary metabolite gene clusters, including several A. fumigatus–specific mycotoxin clusters, were expressed at significantly lower levels in the ΔlaeA mutant. LaeA influences the expression of at least 9.5% of the genome (943 of 9,626 genes in A. fumigatus) but positively controls expression of 20% to 40% of major classes of secondary metabolite biosynthesis genes such as nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs), polyketide synthases, and P450 monooxygenases. Tight regulation of NRPS-encoding genes was highlighted by quantitative real-time reverse-transcription PCR analysis. In addition, expression of a putative siderophore biosynthesis NRPS (NRPS2/sidE) was greatly reduced in the ΔlaeA mutant in comparison to controls under inducing iron-deficient conditions. Comparative genomic analysis showed that A. fumigatus secondary metabolite gene clusters constitute evolutionarily diverse regions that may be important for niche adaptation and virulence attributes. Our findings suggest that LaeA is a novel target for comprehensive modification of chemical diversity and pathogenicity. PMID:17432932

  8. In vivo bronchoalveolar macrophage defense against Rhizopus oryzae and Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Waldorf, A R; Levitz, S M; Diamond, R D

    1984-11-01

    The ability of bronchoalveolar macrophages from normal, diabetic, and cortisone-treated mice to inhibit spore germination and kill fungal spores in vivo was investigated. The data indicated that the normal host controls different fungal infections in the lungs by different mechanisms. Prevention of mucormycosis required inhibition of fungal spore germination by alveolar macrophages. In contrast, pulmonary defense against aspergillosis depended on early killing of conidia by alveolar macrophages and not on inhibition of germination by bronchoalveolar macrophages. Bronchoalveolar macrophages in diabetic and cortisone-treated animals allowed fungal spore germination, thereby permitting infection by Rhizopus oryzae. In the cortisone-treated mouse, bronchoalveolar macrophages did not kill fungal conidia and progressive infection by Aspergillus fumigatus occurred. Fungicidal activity of bronchoalveolar macrophages was measured with a new in vivo killing assay.

  9. Deciphering the Counterplay of Aspergillus fumigatus Infection and Host Inflammation by Evolutionary Games on Graphs

    PubMed Central

    Pollmächer, Johannes; Timme, Sandra; Schuster, Stefan; Brakhage, Axel A.; Zipfel, Peter F.; Figge, Marc Thilo

    2016-01-01

    Microbial invaders are ubiquitously present and pose the constant risk of infections that are opposed by various defence mechanisms of the human immune system. A tight regulation of the immune response ensures clearance of microbial invaders and concomitantly limits host damage that is crucial for host viability. To investigate the counterplay of infection and inflammation, we simulated the invasion of the human-pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus in lung alveoli by evolutionary games on graphs. The layered structure of the innate immune system is represented by a sequence of games in the virtual model. We show that the inflammatory cascade of the immune response is essential for microbial clearance and that the inflammation level correlates with the infection-dose. At low infection-doses, corresponding to daily inhalation of conidia, the resident alveolar macrophages may be sufficient to clear infections, however, at higher infection-doses their primary task shifts towards recruitment of neutrophils to infection sites. PMID:27291424

  10. Deciphering the Counterplay of Aspergillus fumigatus Infection and Host Inflammation by Evolutionary Games on Graphs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollmächer, Johannes; Timme, Sandra; Schuster, Stefan; Brakhage, Axel A.; Zipfel, Peter F.; Figge, Marc Thilo

    2016-06-01

    Microbial invaders are ubiquitously present and pose the constant risk of infections that are opposed by various defence mechanisms of the human immune system. A tight regulation of the immune response ensures clearance of microbial invaders and concomitantly limits host damage that is crucial for host viability. To investigate the counterplay of infection and inflammation, we simulated the invasion of the human-pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus in lung alveoli by evolutionary games on graphs. The layered structure of the innate immune system is represented by a sequence of games in the virtual model. We show that the inflammatory cascade of the immune response is essential for microbial clearance and that the inflammation level correlates with the infection-dose. At low infection-doses, corresponding to daily inhalation of conidia, the resident alveolar macrophages may be sufficient to clear infections, however, at higher infection-doses their primary task shifts towards recruitment of neutrophils to infection sites.

  11. Adsorption characteristics and preparative separation of chaetominine from Aspergillus fumigatus mycelia by macroporous resin.

    PubMed

    Liu, Changqing; Jiao, Ruihua; Yao, Lingyun; Zhang, Yupeng; Lu, Yanhua; Tan, Renxiang

    2016-03-15

    Chaetominine (CHA) is a quinazolinone alkaloid with strong anti-cancer activity produced by Aspergillus fumigatus CY018. For recovering CHA from A. fumigates efficiently, adsorption and desorption capacities of eight macroporous resins were tested in this work. Based on batch experiments, XAD-16 resin was revealed the best adsorption and desorption performance among all the tested resins. Then, adsorption kinetics and adsorption isotherms were constructed on XAD-16 resin, and the experimental data were fitted well to the pseudo first-order kinetics and Freundlick isotherm model. In the dynamic adsorption and desorption, the purity of CHA increased from 0.0314% (w/w) in the crude extract to 57.86% in the final product with recovery yield of 70.56% by a one-step treatment. Moreover, the experiments were also performed in a lab scale-up scale, in which the purity and recovery of CHA were 56.12% (w/w) and 68.02%, respectively. In addition, XAD-16 resin could be recycled 3 times for CHA separation after regeneration without adverse effects on adsorption/desorption performance. These results suggested that XAD-16 resin adsorption could act as a useful and economic method for recovering CHA from A. fumigatus.

  12. Effect of sub-lethal treatment with formalin on the germination of Aspergillus fumigatus spores

    PubMed Central

    Smith, G. R.

    1973-01-01

    Sub-lethal exposure of Aspergillus fumigatus spore suspensions to formalin resulted in prolongation by 1-22 days of the period of less than one day normally needed by spores to produce visible growth in Sabouraud's liquid medium at 37° C.; the degree of delay depended on the concentration of formalin and the duration of exposure, and was due to an increase in the germination-time of spores. The formalin concentration could be adjusted so as to affect the germination-time of almost all spores in a suspension without reducing viability. The effect on germination was not abolished by thorough washing or treatment with sodium sulphite. The spores of four different strains of A. fumigatus and of cultures aged 3 to 14 days reacted similarly to formalin treatment. Although of greatly reduced virulence for mice, affected viable spores were still capable of producing infection and death following intravenous inoculation, provided they were not eliminated by the host before germination occurred. PMID:4588774

  13. Ergothioneine Biosynthesis and Functionality in the Opportunistic Fungal Pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Sheridan, Kevin J.; Lechner, Beatrix Elisabeth; Keeffe, Grainne O’; Keller, Markus A.; Werner, Ernst R.; Lindner, Herbert; Jones, Gary W.; Haas, Hubertus; Doyle, Sean

    2016-01-01

    Ergothioneine (EGT; 2-mercaptohistidine trimethylbetaine) is a trimethylated and sulphurised histidine derivative which exhibits antioxidant properties. Here we report that deletion of Aspergillus fumigatus egtA (AFUA_2G15650), which encodes a trimodular enzyme, abrogated EGT biosynthesis in this opportunistic pathogen. EGT biosynthetic deficiency in A. fumigatus significantly reduced resistance to elevated H2O2 and menadione, respectively, impaired gliotoxin production and resulted in attenuated conidiation. Quantitative proteomic analysis revealed substantial proteomic remodelling in ΔegtA compared to wild-type under both basal and ROS conditions, whereby the abundance of 290 proteins was altered. Specifically, the reciprocal differential abundance of cystathionine γ-synthase and β-lyase, respectively, influenced cystathionine availability to effect EGT biosynthesis. A combined deficiency in EGT biosynthesis and the oxidative stress response regulator Yap1, which led to extreme oxidative stress susceptibility, decreased resistance to heavy metals and production of the extracellular siderophore triacetylfusarinine C and increased accumulation of the intracellular siderophore ferricrocin. EGT dissipated H2O2 in vitro, and elevated intracellular GSH levels accompanied abrogation of EGT biosynthesis. EGT deficiency only decreased resistance to high H2O2 levels which suggests functionality as an auxiliary antioxidant, required for growth at elevated oxidative stress conditions. Combined, these data reveal new interactions between cellular redox homeostasis, secondary metabolism and metal ion homeostasis. PMID:27748436

  14. Perturbations in small molecule synthesis uncovers an iron-responsive secondary metabolite network in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Wiemann, Philipp; Lechner, Beatrix E.; Baccile, Joshua A.; Velk, Thomas A.; Yin, Wen-Bing; Bok, Jin Woo; Pakala, Suman; Losada, Liliana; Nierman, William C.; Schroeder, Frank C.; Haas, Hubertus; Keller, Nancy P.

    2014-01-01

    Iron plays a critical role in survival and virulence of the opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Two transcription factors, the GATA-factor SreA and the bZip-factor HapX oppositely monitor iron homeostasis with HapX activating iron acquisition pathways (e.g., siderophores) and shutting down iron consumptive pathways (and SreA) during iron starvation conditions whereas SreA negatively regulates HapX and corresponding pathways during iron sufficiency. Recently the non-ribosomal peptide, hexadehydroastechrome (HAS; a tryptophan-derived iron (III)-complex), has been found important in A. fumigatus virulence. We found that HAS overproduction caused an iron starvation phenotype, from alteration of siderophore pools to regulation of iron homeostasis gene expression including sreA. Moreover, we uncovered an iron dependent secondary metabolism network where both SreA and HapX oppositely regulate multiple other secondary metabolites including HAS. This circuitry links iron-acquisition and consumption pathways with secondary metabolism—thus placing HAS as part of a metabolic feedback circuitry designed to balance iron pools in the fungus and presenting iron availability as one environmental trigger of secondary metabolism. PMID:25386169

  15. Asexual sporulation facilitates adaptation: The emergence of azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianhua; Debets, Alfons J M; Verweij, Paul E; Melchers, Willem J G; Zwaan, Bas J; Schoustra, Sijmen E

    2015-10-01

    Understanding the occurrence and spread of azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus is crucial for public health. It has been hypothesized that asexual sporulation, which is abundant in nature, is essential for phenotypic expression of azole resistance mutations in A. fumigatus facilitating subsequent spread through natural selection. Furthermore, the disease aspergilloma is associated with asexual sporulation within the lungs of patients and the emergence of azole resistance. This study assessed the evolutionary advantage of asexual sporulation by growing the fungus under pressure of one of five different azole fungicides over seven weeks and by comparing the rate of adaptation between scenarios of culturing with and without asexual sporulation. Results unequivocally show that asexual sporulation facilitates adaptation. This can be explained by the combination of more effective selection because of the transition from a multicellular to a unicellular stage, and by increased mutation supply due to the production of spores, which involves numerous mitotic divisions. Insights from this study are essential to unravel the resistance mechanisms of sporulating pathogens to chemical compounds and disease agents in general, and for designing strategies that prevent or overcome the emerging threat of azole resistance in particular. PMID:26315993

  16. FAD2-DGAT2 genes coexpressed in endophytic Aspergillus fumigatus derived from tung oilseeds.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yi-Cun; Wang, Yang-Dong; Cui, Qin-Qin; Zhan, Zhi-Yong

    2012-01-01

    Recent efforts to genetically engineer plants that contain fatty acid desaturases to produce valuable fatty acids have made only modest progress. Diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2 (DGAT2), which catalyzes the final step in triacylglycerol (TAG) assembly, might potentially regulate the biosynthesis of desired fatty acids in TAGs. To study the effects of tung tree (Vernicia fordii) vfDGAT2 in channeling the desired fatty acids into TAG, vfDGAT2 combined with the tung tree fatty acid desaturase-2 (vfFAD2) gene was co-introduced into Aspergillus fumigatus, an endophytic fungus isolated from healthy tung oilseed. Two transformants coexpressing vfFAD2 and vfDGAT2 showed a more than 6-fold increase in linoleic acid production compared to the original A. fumigatus strain, while a nearly 2-fold increase was found in the transformant expressing only vfFAD2. Our data suggest that vfDGAT2 plays a pivotal role in promoting linoleic acid accumulation in TAGs. This holds great promise for further genetic engineering aimed at producing valuable fatty acids.

  17. Network Modeling Reveals Cross Talk of MAP Kinases during Adaptation to Caspofungin Stress in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Baldin, Clara; Weber, Jakob; Guthke, Reinhard; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Brakhage, Axel A.; Linde, Jörg

    2015-01-01

    Mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are highly conserved in eukaryotic organisms. In pathogenic fungi, their activities were assigned to different physiological functions including drug adaptation and resistance. Aspergillus fumigatus is a human pathogenic fungus, which causes life-threatening invasive infections. Therapeutic options against invasive mycoses are still limited. One of the clinically used drugs is caspofungin, which specifically targets the fungal cell wall biosynthesis. A systems biology approach, based on comprehensive transcriptome data sets and mathematical modeling, was employed to infer a regulatory network and identify key interactions during adaptation to caspofungin stress in A. fumigatus. Mathematical modeling and experimental validations confirmed an intimate cross talk occurring between the cell wall-integrity and the high osmolarity-glycerol signaling pathways. Specifically, increased concentrations of caspofungin promoted activation of these signalings. Moreover, caspofungin affected the intracellular transport, which caused an additional osmotic stress that is independent of glucan inhibition. High concentrations of caspofungin reduced this osmotic stress, and thus decreased its toxic activity. Our results demonstrated that MAPK signaling pathways play a key role during caspofungin adaptation and are contributing to the paradoxical effect exerted by this drug. PMID:26356475

  18. Chemical and immunological characterization of the extracellular galactomannan of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed Central

    Latgé, J P; Kobayashi, H; Debeaupuis, J P; Diaquin, M; Sarfati, J; Wieruszeski, J M; Parra, E; Bouchara, J P; Fournet, B

    1994-01-01

    The galactomannan (GM) produced extracellularly by Aspergillus fumigatus has been purified by a double sequential hydrazine-nitrous acid treatment of the ethanol precipitate of the culture filtrate. Nuclear magnetic resonance and gas-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis have been performed on intact GM, acid-hydrolyzed GM, and oligomers resulting from the acetolysis of the acid-hydrolyzed GM. Results show that A. fumigatus GM is composed of a linear mannan core with an alpha-(1-2)-linked mannotetraose repeating unit attached via alpha-(1-6) linkage. Side chains composed of an average of 4 to 5 beta-(1-5)-galactofuranose units are linked to C-6 and C-3 positions of alpha-(1-2)-linked mannose units of the mannan. The immunoreactivity of GM and HCl-hydrolyzed GM was studied by use of human sera from aspergillosis patients and an antigalactofuran monoclonal antibody. The alpha-(1-2) (1-6)-mannan core is not antigenic. The immunogenic galactofuran is found amongst several exocellular glycoproteins. According to a direct enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with GM as the detector antigen, only 26% of the serum samples from aspergilloma patients (all positive by immunodiffusion assays) give optical density values superior to a cutoff estimated as the mean +/- 3 standard deviations of values obtained with control sera. Images PMID:7960122

  19. Tremorgenic mycotoxins from Aspergillus fumigatus as a possible occupational health problem in sawmills.

    PubMed Central

    Land, C J; Hult, K; Fuchs, R; Hagelberg, S; Lundström, H

    1987-01-01

    Wood-trimmers' disease, generally called extrinsic allergic alveolitis, which affects workers in sawmills, is thought to be caused by fungal diaspores. The importance of Aspergillus fumigatus on the surface of wood dried in kilns is accentuated by its ability to produce tremorgenic mycotoxins. Eight strains of A. fumigatus from five different sawmills were isolated and cultivated on liquid media, and one of the strains was also cultivated on wood blocks. Extracts were prepared, and the tremorgenic reactions were induced by oral administration of extracts to rats. Extracts of the strain grown in liquid medium and on wood blocks induced very strong tremorgenic reactions when administered orally to rats. Four other strains induced mild tremorgenic reactions. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis revealed two tremorgenic mycotoxins, verruculogen and fumitremorgen C, in the five toxic strains. One nontoxic strain produced detectable levels of verruculogen. These results, coupled with the known resemblance of the acutely toxic phase of wood-trimmers' disease to the symptoms produced by these tremorgens, imply that wood-trimmers' disease and similar occupational diseases are, at least in part, mycotoxicoses. PMID:3555338

  20. Tremorgenic mycotoxins from Aspergillus fumigatus as a possible occupational health problem in sawmills.

    PubMed

    Land, C J; Hult, K; Fuchs, R; Hagelberg, S; Lundström, H

    1987-04-01

    Wood-trimmers' disease, generally called extrinsic allergic alveolitis, which affects workers in sawmills, is thought to be caused by fungal diaspores. The importance of Aspergillus fumigatus on the surface of wood dried in kilns is accentuated by its ability to produce tremorgenic mycotoxins. Eight strains of A. fumigatus from five different sawmills were isolated and cultivated on liquid media, and one of the strains was also cultivated on wood blocks. Extracts were prepared, and the tremorgenic reactions were induced by oral administration of extracts to rats. Extracts of the strain grown in liquid medium and on wood blocks induced very strong tremorgenic reactions when administered orally to rats. Four other strains induced mild tremorgenic reactions. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis revealed two tremorgenic mycotoxins, verruculogen and fumitremorgen C, in the five toxic strains. One nontoxic strain produced detectable levels of verruculogen. These results, coupled with the known resemblance of the acutely toxic phase of wood-trimmers' disease to the symptoms produced by these tremorgens, imply that wood-trimmers' disease and similar occupational diseases are, at least in part, mycotoxicoses. PMID:3555338

  1. Nanoscale biophysical properties of the cell surface galactosaminogalactan from the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beaussart, Audrey; El-Kirat-Chatel, Sofiane; Fontaine, Thierry; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Dufrêne, Yves F.

    2015-09-01

    Many fungal pathogens produce cell surface polysaccharides that play essential roles in host-pathogen interactions. In Aspergillus fumigatus, the newly discovered polysaccharide galactosaminogalactan (GAG) mediates adherence to a variety of substrates through molecular mechanisms that are poorly understood. Here we use atomic force microscopy to unravel the localization and adhesion of GAG on living fungal cells. Using single-molecule imaging with tips bearing anti-GAG antibodies, we found that GAG is massively exposed on wild-type (WT) germ tubes, consistent with the notion that this glycopolymer is secreted by the mycelium of A. fumigatus, while it is lacking on WT resting conidia and on germ tubes from a mutant (Δuge3) deficient in GAG. Imaging germ tubes with tips bearing anti-β-glucan antibodies shows that exposure of β-glucan is strongly increased in the Δuge3 mutant, indicating that this polysaccharide is masked by GAG during hyphal growth. Single-cell force measurements show that expression of GAG on germ tubes promotes specific adhesion to pneumocytes and non-specific adhesion to hydrophobic substrates. These results provide a molecular foundation for the multifunctional adhesion properties of GAG, thus suggesting it could be used as a potential target in anti-adhesion therapy and immunotherapy. Our methodology represents a powerful approach for characterizing the nanoscale organization and adhesion of cell wall polysaccharides during fungal morphogenesis, thereby contributing to increase our understanding of their role in biofilm formation and immune responses.

  2. Characterization of the Aspergillus fumigatus detoxification systems for reactive nitrogen intermediates and their impact on virulence

    PubMed Central

    Lapp, Katrin; Vödisch, Martin; Kroll, Kristin; Strassburger, Maria; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a saprophytic mold that can cause life-threatening infections in immunocompromised patients. In the lung, inhaled conidia are confronted with immune effector cells that attack the fungus by various mechanisms such as phagocytosis, production of antimicrobial proteins or generation of reactive oxygen intermediates. Macrophages and neutrophils can also form nitric oxide (NO) and other reactive nitrogen intermediates (RNI) that potentially also contribute to killing of the fungus. However, fungi can produce several enzymes involved in RNI detoxification. Based on genome analysis of A. fumigatus, we identified two genes encoding flavohemoglobins, FhpA, and FhpB, which have been shown to convert NO to nitrate in other fungi, and a gene encoding S-nitrosoglutathione reductase GnoA reducing S-nitrosoglutathione to ammonium and glutathione disulphide. To elucidate the role of these enzymes in detoxification of RNI, single and double deletion mutants of FhpA, FhpB, and GnoA encoding genes were generated. The analysis of mutant strains using the NO donor DETA-NO indicated that FhpA and GnoA play the major role in defense against RNI. By generating fusions with the green fluorescence protein, we showed that both FhpA-eGFP and GnoA-eGFP were located in the cytoplasm of all A. fumigatus morphotypes, from conidia to hyphae, whereas FhpB-eGFP was localized in mitochondria. Because fhpA and gnoA mRNA was also detected in the lungs of infected mice, we investigated the role of these genes in fungal pathogenicity by using a murine infection model for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Remarkably, all mutant strains tested displayed wild-type pathogenicity, indicating that the ability to detoxify host-derived RNI is not essential for virulence of A. fumigatus in the applied mouse infection model. Consistently, no significant differences in killing of ΔfhpA, ΔfhpB, or ΔgnoA conidia by cells of the macrophage cell line MH-S were observed when compared to the

  3. Elimination of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia from the airways of mice with allergic airway inflammation

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Aspergillus fumigatus conidia can exacerbate asthma symptoms. Phagocytosis of conidia is a principal component of the host antifungal defense. We investigated whether allergic airway inflammation (AAI) affects the ability of phagocytic cells in the airways to internalize the resting fungal spores. Methods Using BALB/c mice with experimentally induced AAI, we tested the ability of neutrophils, macrophages, and dendritic cells to internalize A. fumigatus conidia at various anatomical locations. We used light microscopy and differential cell and conidium counts to determine the ingestion potential of neutrophils and macrophages present in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). To identify phagocyte-conidia interactions in conducting airways, conidia labeled with tetramethylrhodamine-(5-(and-6))-isothiocyanate were administered to the oropharyngeal cavity of mice. Confocal microscopy was used to quantify the ingestion potential of Ly-6G+ neutrophils and MHC II+ antigen-presenting cells located in the intraepithelial and subepithelial areas of conducting airways. Results Allergen challenge induced transient neutrophil recruitment to the airways. Application of A. fumigatus conidia at the acute phase of AAI provoked recurrent neutrophil infiltration, and consequently increased the number and the ingestion potential of the airway neutrophils. In the absence of recurrent allergen or conidia provocation, both the ingestion potential and the number of BAL neutrophils decreased. As a result, conidia were primarily internalized by alveolar macrophages in both AAI and control mice at 24 hours post-inhalation. Transient influx of neutrophils to conducting airways shortly after conidial application was observed in mice with AAI. In addition, the ingestion potential of conducting airway neutrophils in mice with induced asthma exceeded that of control mice. Although the number of neutrophils subsequently decreased, the ingestion capacity remained elevated in AAI mice, even at 24

  4. Calcineurin Orchestrates Hyphal Growth, Septation, Drug Resistance and Pathogenesis of Aspergillus fumigatus: Where Do We Go from Here?

    PubMed Central

    Juvvadi, Praveen R; Steinbach, William J

    2015-01-01

    Studies on fungal pathogens belonging to the ascomycota phylum are critical given the ubiquity and frequency with which these fungi cause infections in humans. Among these species, Aspergillus fumigatus causes invasive aspergillosis, a leading cause of death in immunocompromised patients. Fundamental to A. fumigatus pathogenesis is hyphal growth. However, the precise mechanisms underlying hyphal growth and virulence are poorly understood. Over the past 10 years, our research towards the identification of molecular targets responsible for hyphal growth, drug resistance and virulence led to the elucidation of calcineurin as a key signaling molecule governing these processes. In this review, we summarize our salient findings on the significance of calcineurin for hyphal growth and septation in A. fumigatus and propose future perspectives on exploiting this pathway for designing new fungal-specific therapeutics. PMID:26694470

  5. Fever-range temperature modulates activation and function of human dendritic cells stimulated with the pathogenic mould Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Semmlinger, Anna; Fliesser, Mirjam; Waaga-Gasser, Ana Maria; Dragan, Mariola; Morton, C Oliver; Einsele, Hermann; Loeffler, Juergen

    2014-05-01

    In immunocompromised patients, invasive aspergillosis (IA) is the most frequent disease caused by the pathogenic mould Aspergillus fumigatus. Fever is one of the most common yet nonspecific clinical symptoms of IA. To evaluate the role of hyperthermia in the innate immune response to A. fumigatus in vitro, human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) were stimulated with germ tubes of A. fumigatus or the fungal cell wall component zymosan at 37°C or 40°C, followed by characterization of specific DC functions. While maturation of DCs was enhanced and DC phagocytic capacity was reduced at 40°C, we observed that DC viability and cytokine release were unaffected. Thus, our results suggest that hyperthermia has substantial impacts on DC function in vitro, which might also influence the course and outcome of IA in immunocompromised patients.

  6. Clinical and experimental mycotic corneal ulcer caused by Aspergillus fumigatus and the effect of oral ketoconazole in the treatment.

    PubMed

    Singh, S M; Khan, R; Sharma, S; Chatterjee, P K

    1989-06-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus was isolated from a case of keratomycosis. The patient, a 12-year-old boy presented with large corneal ulcer with hypopyon. The direct microscopic examination of scrapings revealed hyaline, septate mycelium. In vitro some antimycotics (amphotericin B,5-fluorocytosine, oxiconazole, amorolfine and ketoconazole) were tested against A. fumigatus by agar dilution method. Ketoconazole with minimum inhibitory concentration of 30 micrograms/ml after 11 days of incubation was most effective against A. fumigatus. Experimental corneal ulcer was produced by injecting intralamellary spore suspension (2.5 x 10(6) c.f.u.) into the right eyes of previously immunosuppressed albino and black wild types of rabbits. The extent of ocular infection was graded up to 32 days. Histopathologic examination showed infiltration and large destruction of corneal stroma. Oral ketoconazole therapy exhibited partial response followed by relapse. The black type of rabbit appeared more suitable as an animal model for mycotic keratitis. PMID:2682246

  7. Biosynthesis of extracellular and intracellular gold nanoparticles by Aspergillus fumigatus and A. flavus.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Saurabh; Bector, Shruti

    2013-05-01

    Green chemistry is a boon for the development of safe, stable and ecofriendly nanostructures using biological tools. The present study was carried out to explore the potential of selected fungal strains for biosynthesis of intra- and extracellular gold nanostructures. Out of the seven cultures, two fungal strains (SBS-3 and SBS-7) were selected on the basis of development of dark pink colour in cell free supernatant and fungal beads, respectively indicative of extra- and intracellular gold nanoparticles production. Both biomass associated and cell free gold nanoparticles were characterized using X-ray diffractogram (XRD) analysis and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). XRD analysis confirmed crystalline, face-centered cubic lattice of metallic gold nanoparticles along with average crystallite size. A marginal difference in average crystallite size of extracellular (17.76 nm) and intracellular (26 and 22 nm) Au-nanostructures was observed using Scherrer equation. In TEM, a variety of shapes (triangles, spherical, hexagonal) were observed in both extra- and intracellular nanoparticles. 18S rRNA gene sequence analysis by multiple sequence alignment (BLAST) indicated 99 % homology of SBS-3 to Aspergillus fumigatus with 99 % alignment coverage and 98 % homology of SBS-7 to Aspergillus flavus with 98 % alignment coverage respectively. Native-PAGE and activity staining further confirmed enzyme linked synthesis of gold nanoparticles. PMID:23400423

  8. Secretome diversity and quantitative analysis of cellulolytic Aspergillus fumigatus Z5 in the presence of different carbon sources

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Aspergillus fumigatus Z5 has a strong ability to decompose lignocellulose biomass, and its extracellular protein secretion has been reported in earlier studies employing traditional techniques. However, a comprehensive analysis of its secretion in the presence of different carbon sources is still lacking. The goal of this work was to identify, quantify and compare the secretome of A. fumigatus Z5 in the presence of different carbon sources to understand in more details the mechanisms of lignocellulose decomposition by Aspergillus fumigatus Z5. Results Cellulolytic A. fumigatus Z5 was grown in the presence of glucose (Gl), Avicel (Av) and rice straw (RS), and the activities of several lignocellulosic enzymes were determined with chromatometry method. The maximum activities of endoglucanase, exoglucanase, β-glucosidase, laminarinase, lichenase, xylanase and pectin lyase were 12.52, 0.59, 2.30, 2.37, 1.68, 15.02 and 11.40 U·ml-1, respectively. A total of 152, 125 and 61 different proteins were identified in the presence of RS, Av and Gl, respectively, and the proteins were functionally divided into glycoside hydrolases, lipases, peptidases, peroxidases, esterases, protein translocating transporters and hypothetical proteins. A total of 49 proteins were iTRAQ-quantified in all the treatments, and the quantification results indicated that most of the cellulases, hemicellulases and glycoside hydrolases were highly upregulated when rice straw and Avicel were used as carbon sources (compared with glucose). Conclusions The proteins secreted from A. fumigatus Z5 in the present of different carbon source conditions were identified by LC-MS/MS and quantified by iTRAQ-based quantitative proteomics. The results indicated that A. fumigatus Z5 could produce considerable cellulose-, hemicellulose-, pectin- and lignin-degrading enzymes that are valuable for the lignocellulosic bioenergy industry. PMID:24131596

  9. Azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus in Denmark: a laboratory-based study on resistance mechanisms and genotypes.

    PubMed

    Jensen, R H; Hagen, F; Astvad, K M T; Tyron, A; Meis, J F; Arendrup, M C

    2016-06-01

    Azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus originating from the environment as well as induced during therapy are continuously emerging in Danish clinical settings. We performed a laboratory-based retrospective study (2010-2014) of azole resistance and genetic relationship of A. fumigatus at the national mycology reference laboratory of Denmark. A total of 1162 clinical and 133 environmental A. fumigatus isolates were identified by morphology, thermotolerance and/or β-tubulin sequencing. Screening for azole resistance was carried out using azole agar, and resistant isolates were susceptibility tested by the EUCAST (European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing) E.Def 9.2 reference method and CYP51A sequenced. Genotyping was performed for outbreak investigation and, when appropriate, short tandem repeat Aspergillus fumigatus microsatellite assay. All 133 environmental A. fumigatus isolates were azole susceptible. However, from 2010 to 2014, there was an increasing prevalence of azole resistance (from 1.4 to 6% isolates (p <0.001) and 1.8 to 4% patients (p <0.05)) among the clinical isolates, with the well-known environmental CYP51A variant TR34/L98H responsible for >50% of the azole resistance mechanisms. Among 184 Danish A. fumigatus isolates, 120 unique genotypes were identified and compared to a collection of 1822 international genotypes. Seven (5.8%) Danish genotypes were shared between isolates within Denmark but with different origin, 19 (15.8%) were shared with foreign genotypes, and two (11.8%) of 17 genotypes of isolates carrying the TR34/L98H resistance mechanisms were identical to two Dutch TR34/L98H isolates. Our findings underlines the demand for correct identification and susceptibility testing of clinical mould isolates. Furthermore, although complex, genotyping supported the hypotheses regarding clonal expansion and the potential of a single origin for the TR34/L98H clone. PMID:27091095

  10. A New Aspergillus fumigatus Typing Method Based on Hypervariable Tandem Repeats Located within Exons of Surface Protein Coding Genes (TRESP)

    PubMed Central

    Garcia-Rubio, Rocio; Gil, Horacio; Monteiro, Maria Candida; Pelaez, Teresa; Mellado, Emilia

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a saprotrophic mold fungus ubiquitously found in the environment and is the most common species causing invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised individuals. For A. fumigatus genotyping, the short tandem repeat method (STRAf) is widely accepted as the first choice. However, difficulties associated with PCR product size and required technology have encouraged the development of novel typing techniques. In this study, a new genotyping method based on hypervariable tandem repeats within exons of surface protein coding genes (TRESP) was designed. A. fumigatus isolates were characterized by PCR amplification and sequencing with a panel of three TRESP encoding genes: cell surface protein A; MP-2 antigenic galactomannan protein; and hypothetical protein with a CFEM domain. The allele sequence repeats of each of the three targets were combined to assign a specific genotype. For the evaluation of this method, 126 unrelated A. fumigatus strains were analyzed and 96 different genotypes were identified, showing a high level of discrimination [Simpson’s index of diversity (D) 0.994]. In addition, 49 azole resistant strains were analyzed identifying 26 genotypes and showing a lower D value (0.890) among them. This value could indicate that these resistant strains are closely related and share a common origin, although more studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis. In summary, a novel genotyping method for A. fumigatus has been developed which is reproducible, easy to perform, highly discriminatory and could be especially useful for studying outbreaks. PMID:27701437

  11. The mtfA Transcription Factor Gene Controls Morphogenesis, Gliotoxin Production, and Virulence in the Opportunistic Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Timothy D.

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the leading causative agent of invasive aspergillosis (IA). The number of cases is on the rise, with mortality rates as high as 90% among immunocompromised patients. Molecular genetic studies in A. fumigatus could provide novel targets to potentially set the basis for antifungal therapies. In the current study, we investigated the role of the transcription factor gene mtfA in A. fumigatus. Our results revealed that mtfA plays a role in the growth and development of the fungus. Deletion or overexpression of mtfA leads to a slight reduction in colony growth, as well as a reduction in conidiation levels, in the overexpression strain compared to the wild-type strain. Furthermore, production of the secondary metabolite gliotoxin increased when mtfA was overexpressed, coinciding with an increase in the transcription levels of the gliotoxin genes gliZ and gliP with respect to the wild type. In addition, our study showed that mtfA is also necessary for normal protease activity in A. fumigatus; deletion of mtfA resulted in a reduction of protease activity compared to wild-type levels. Importantly, the absence of mtfA caused a decrease in virulence in the Galleria mellonella infection model, indicating that mtfA is necessary for A. fumigatus wild-type pathogenesis. PMID:24728192

  12. Verruculogen associated with Aspergillus fumigatus hyphae and conidia modifies the electrophysiological properties of human nasal epithelial cells

    PubMed Central

    Khoufache, Khaled; Puel, Olivier; Loiseau, Nicolas; Delaforge, Marcel; Rivollet, Danièle; Coste, André; Cordonnier, Catherine; Escudier, Estelle; Botterel, Françoise; Bretagne, Stéphane

    2007-01-01

    Background The role of Aspergillus fumigatus mycotoxins in the colonization of the respiratory tract by conidia has not been studied extensively, even though patients at risk from invasive aspergillosis frequently exhibit respiratory epithelium damage. In a previous study, we found that filtrates of A. fumigatus cultures can specifically alter the electrophysiological properties of human nasal epithelial cells (HNEC) compared to those of non pathogenic moulds. Results We fractionated the organic phase of filtrate from 3-day old A. fumigatus cultures using high-performance liquid chromatography. The different fractions were tested for their ability to modify the electrophysiological properties of HNEC in an in vitro primary culture model. The fraction collected between 20 and 30 min mimicked the effects of the whole filtrate, i.e. decrease of transepithelial resistance and increase of potential differences, and contained secondary metabolites such as helvolic acid, fumagillin, and verruculogen. Only verruculogen (10-8 M) had effects similar to the whole filtrate. We verified that verruculogen was produced by a collection of 67 human, animal, plant and environmental A. fumigatus isolates. Using MS-MS analysis, we found that verruculogen was associated with both mycelium and conidia extracts. Conclusion Verruculogen is a secondary metabolite that modifies the electrophysiological properties of HNEC. The role of these modifications in the colonization and invasion of the respiratory epithelium by A. fumigatus on first contact with the epithelium remains to be determined. PMID:17244350

  13. In vitro Protease Inhibition and Cytotoxicity of Aspergillus fumigatus Biomolecules Secreted under Long-Term Aerated Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Arsic Arsenijevic, Valentina S.; Pekmezovic, Marina G.; Rajkovic, Katarina M.; Vekic, Berislav P.; Barac, Aleksandra M.; Tasic-Otasevic, Suzana; Petkovic, Ljubica Dj.

    2014-01-01

    The fatality rate of invasive aspergillosis (IA) is still very high, especially in prolonged and untreated pulmonary cases. Aspergillus fumigatus is the main causative agent of IA and investigation of its metabolites could provide valuable insight into virulence factor(s) associated with this organism. We evaluated the A. fumigatus culture filtrate (CF) products generated during short- and long-term aerated and non-aerated conditions and tested for (i) inhibition of cysteine or serine proteases and (ii) cytotoxicity. In addition, the mathematical model was determined using response surface methodology (RSM) to estimate the influence of different fermentation conditions on A. fumigatus CF characteristics, predict enzyme inhibition and make possible correlations with in vivo conditions. Biosynthesis of A. fumigatus low molecular weight proteinaceous products (from 6.4 to 15.4 kDa) was observed after 6 days of growth under aerated and alkaline conditions. Also, only these CFs showed significant reduction in cell lines survival (Caco-2 and WISH 35.6% and 54.6%, respectively). Obtained results provide solid starting point for further studies that would include: (i) detailed chemical characterization of A. fumigatus CF, (ii) activity relationships and in vivo correlation with pathogenicity of prolonged pulmonary IA and (iii) possible use of biomolecules as diagnostic or therapeutic markers. PMID:25170296

  14. The newly nonsporulated characterization of an Aspergillus fumigatus isolate from an immunocompetent patient and its clinic indication.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Caiyun; Kong, Qingtao; Cai, Zhendong; Liu, Fang; Chen, Peiying; Song, Jinxing; Lu, Ling; Sang, Hong

    2015-08-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) commonly produces abundant and heavily melanized infectious conidia, which are the primary agents that cause invasive aspergillosis (IA) in immunocompromised patients. We isolated a white nonsporulating A. fumigatus strain (A1j) from an immunocompetent patient. It was identified by histopathological examination and morphological observation, and subsequently confirmed by DNA sequencing of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions and partial β-tubulin genes. Neither a long waiting time nor passage on various medium types could stimulate the formation of spores and pigment. No significant relative difference was found in sensitivity to antifungal agents or cell wall destabilizing reagents, as compared to wild-type A. fumigatus Af293. Nevertheless, A1j was hypovirulent in the immunosuppressed mice model, consistent with the good result in our patient. RNA deep-sequencing analysis (RNA-seq) revealed that hundreds of transcripts were significantly dysregulated, including those related to pigmentation and sporulation. qRT-PCR confirmed the anergic state of key regulator brlA for sporulation under the induction of conidiation conditions, but without mutation. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a white, nonsporulating A. fumigatus strain infection in an immunocompetent patient. In our opinion, A1j may represent a mutant of typical A. fumigatus, providing a new clue for identification of clinical A. fumigatus isolates. Furthermore, the good prognosis of our patient and the reduced virulence in the mice model infected with A1j highlight the potential of sporulation inhibitors as a new generation of antifungal agents.

  15. The Aspergillus fumigatus Protein GliK Protects against Oxidative Stress and Is Essential for Gliotoxin Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Gallagher, Lorna; Owens, Rebecca A.; Dolan, Stephen K.; O'Keeffe, Grainne; Schrettl, Markus; Kavanagh, Kevin; Jones, Gary W.

    2012-01-01

    The function of a number of genes in the gliotoxin biosynthetic cluster (gli) in Aspergillus fumigatus remains unknown. Here, we demonstrate that gliK deletion from two strains of A. fumigatus completely abolished gliotoxin biosynthesis. Furthermore, exogenous H2O2 (1 mM), but not gliotoxin, significantly induced A. fumigatus gliK expression (P = 0.0101). While both mutants exhibited significant sensitivity to both exogenous gliotoxin (P < 0.001) and H2O2 (P < 0.01), unexpectedly, exogenous gliotoxin relieved H2O2-induced growth inhibition in a dose-dependent manner (0 to 10 μg/ml). Gliotoxin-containing organic extracts derived from A. fumigatus ATCC 26933 significantly inhibited (P < 0.05) the growth of the ΔgliK26933 deletion mutant. The A. fumigatus ΔgliK26933 mutant secreted metabolites, devoid of disulfide linkages or free thiols, that were detectable by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry with m/z 394 to 396. These metabolites (m/z 394 to 396) were present at significantly higher levels in the culture supernatants of the A. fumigatus ΔgliK26933 mutant than in those of the wild type (P = 0.0024 [fold difference, 24] and P = 0.0003 [fold difference, 9.6], respectively) and were absent from A. fumigatus ΔgliG. Significantly elevated levels of ergothioneine were present in aqueous mycelial extracts of the A. fumigatus ΔgliK26933 mutant compared to the wild type (P < 0.001). Determination of the gliotoxin uptake rate revealed a significant difference (P = 0.0045) between that of A. fumigatus ATCC 46645 (9.3 pg/mg mycelium/min) and the ΔgliK46645 mutant (31.4 pg/mg mycelium/min), strongly suggesting that gliK absence and the presence of elevated ergothioneine levels impede exogenously added gliotoxin efflux. Our results confirm a role for gliK in gliotoxin biosynthesis and reveal new insights into gliotoxin functionality in A. fumigatus. PMID:22903976

  16. The Aspergillus fumigatus Damage Resistance Protein Family Coordinately Regulates Ergosterol Biosynthesis and Azole Susceptibility

    PubMed Central

    Song, Jinxing; Zhai, Pengfei; Zhang, Yuanwei; Zhang, Caiyun; Sang, Hong; Han, Guanzhu; Keller, Nancy P.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Ergosterol is a major and specific component of the fungal plasma membrane, and thus, the cytochrome P450 enzymes (Erg proteins) that catalyze ergosterol synthesis have been selected as valuable targets of azole antifungals. However, the opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus has developed worldwide resistance to azoles largely through mutations in the cytochrome P450 enzyme Cyp51 (Erg11). In this study, we demonstrate that a cytochrome b5-like heme-binding damage resistance protein (Dap) family, comprised of DapA, DapB, and DapC, coordinately regulates the functionality of cytochrome P450 enzymes Erg5 and Erg11 and oppositely affects susceptibility to azoles. The expression of all three genes is induced in an azole concentration-dependent way, and the decreased susceptibility to azoles requires DapA stabilization of cytochrome P450 protein activity. In contrast, overexpression of DapB and DapC causes dysfunction of Erg5 and Erg11, resulting in abnormal accumulation of sterol intermediates and further accentuating the sensitivity of ΔdapA strains to azoles. The results of exogenous-hemin rescue and heme-binding-site mutagenesis experiments demonstrate that the heme binding of DapA contributes the decreased azole susceptibility, while DapB and -C are capable of reducing the activities of Erg5 and Erg11 through depletion of heme. In vivo data demonstrate that inactivated DapA combined with activated DapB yields an A. fumigatus mutant that is easily treatable with azoles in an immunocompromised mouse model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Compared to the single Dap proteins found in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, we suggest that this complex Dap family regulatory system emerged during the evolution of fungi as an adaptive means to regulate ergosterol synthesis in response to environmental stimuli. PMID:26908577

  17. A murine inhalation model to characterize pulmonary exposure to dry Aspergillus fumigatus conidia.

    PubMed

    Buskirk, Amanda D; Green, Brett J; Lemons, Angela R; Nayak, Ajay P; Goldsmith, W Travis; Kashon, Michael L; Anderson, Stacey E; Hettick, Justin M; Templeton, Steven P; Germolec, Dori R; Beezhold, Donald H

    2014-01-01

    Most murine models of fungal exposure are based on the delivery of uncharacterized extracts or liquid conidia suspensions using aspiration or intranasal approaches. Studies that model exposure to dry fungal aerosols using whole body inhalation have only recently been described. In this study, we aimed to characterize pulmonary immune responses following repeated inhalation of conidia utilizing an acoustical generator to deliver dry fungal aerosols to mice housed in a nose only exposure chamber. Immunocompetent female BALB/cJ mice were exposed to conidia derived from Aspergillus fumigatus wild-type (WT) or a melanin-deficient (Δalb1) strain. Conidia were aerosolized and delivered to mice at an estimated deposition dose of 1×105 twice a week for 4 weeks (8 total). Histopathological and immunological endpoints were assessed 4, 24, 48, and 72 hours after the final exposure. Histopathological analysis showed that conidia derived from both strains induced lung inflammation, especially at 24 and 48 hour time points. Immunological endpoints evaluated in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and the mediastinal lymph nodes showed that exposure to WT conidia led to elevated numbers of macrophages, granulocytes, and lymphocytes. Importantly, CD8+ IL17+ (Tc17) cells were significantly higher in BALF and positively correlated with germination of A. fumigatus WT spores. Germination was associated with specific IgG to intracellular proteins while Δalb1 spores elicited antibodies to cell wall hydrophobin. These data suggest that inhalation exposures may provide a more representative analysis of immune responses following exposures to environmentally and occupationally prevalent fungal contaminants. PMID:25340353

  18. Heterologous Expression of Lysergic Acid and Novel Ergot Alkaloids in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Sarah L.

    2014-01-01

    Different lineages of fungi produce distinct classes of ergot alkaloids. Lysergic acid-derived ergot alkaloids produced by fungi in the Clavicipitaceae are particularly important in agriculture and medicine. The pathway to lysergic acid is partly elucidated, but the gene encoding the enzyme that oxidizes the intermediate agroclavine is unknown. We investigated two candidate agroclavine oxidase genes from the fungus Epichloë festucae var. lolii × Epichloë typhina isolate Lp1 (henceforth referred to as Epichloë sp. Lp1), which produces lysergic acid-derived ergot alkaloids. Candidate genes easH and cloA were expressed in a mutant strain of the mold Aspergillus fumigatus, which typically produces a subclass of ergot alkaloids not derived from agroclavine or lysergic acid. Candidate genes were coexpressed with the Epichloë sp. Lp1 allele of easA, which encodes an enzyme that catalyzed the synthesis of agroclavine from an A. fumigatus intermediate; the agroclavine then served as the substrate for the candidate agroclavine oxidases. Strains expressing easA and cloA from Epichloë sp. Lp1 produced lysergic acid from agroclavine, a process requiring a cumulative six-electron oxidation and a double-bond isomerization. Strains that accumulated excess agroclavine (as a result of Epichloë sp. Lp1 easA expression in the absence of cloA) metabolized it into two novel ergot alkaloids for which provisional structures were proposed on the basis of mass spectra and precursor feeding studies. Our data indicate that CloA catalyzes multiple reactions to produce lysergic acid from agroclavine and that combining genes from different ergot alkaloid pathways provides an effective strategy to engineer important pathway molecules and novel ergot alkaloids. PMID:25107976

  19. Aspergillus fumigatus SidA is a highly specific ornithine hydroxylase with bound flavin cofactor.

    PubMed

    Chocklett, Samuel W; Sobrado, Pablo

    2010-08-10

    Ferrichrome is a hydroxamate-containing siderophore produced by the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus under iron-limiting conditions. This siderophore contains N(5)-hydroxylated l-ornithines essential for iron binding. A. fumigatus siderophore A (Af SidA) catalyzes the flavin- and NADPH-dependent hydroxylation of l-ornithine in ferrichrome biosynthesis. Af SidA was recombinantly expressed and purified as a soluble tetramer and is the first member of this class of flavin monooxygenases to be isolated with a bound flavin cofactor. The enzyme showed typical saturation kinetics with respect to l-ornithine while substrate inhibition was observed at high concentrations of NADPH and NADH. Increasing amounts of hydrogen peroxide were measured as a function of reduced nicotinamide coenzyme concentration, indicating that inhibition was caused by increased uncoupling. Af SidA is highly specific for its amino acid substrate, only hydroxylating l-ornithine. An 8-fold preference in the catalytic efficiency was determined for NADPH compared to NADH. In the absence of substrate, Af SidA can be reduced by NADPH, and a C4a-(hydro)peroxyflavin intermediate is observed. The decay of this intermediate is accelerated by l-ornithine binding. This intermediate was only stabilized by NADPH and not by NADH, suggesting a role for NADP(+) in the stabilization of intermediates in the reaction of Af SidA. NADP(+) is a competitive inhibitor with respect to NADPH, demonstrating that Af SidA forms a ternary complex with NADP(+) and l-ornithine during catalysis. The data suggest that Af SidA likely proceeds by a sequential kinetic mechanism.

  20. Aspergillus fumigatus and mesophilic moulds in air in the surrounding environment downwind of non-hazardous waste landfill sites.

    PubMed

    Schlosser, Olivier; Robert, Samuel; Debeaupuis, Catherine

    2016-05-01

    Non-hazardous waste landfilling has the potential to release biological agents into the air, notably mould spores. Some species, such as Aspergillus fumigatus, may be a cause of concern for at-risk nearby residents. However, air concentration in the surrounding environment of non-hazardous waste landfill sites is poorly documented. An extensive sampling programme was designed to investigate the relationship between culturable mesophilic moulds and A. fumigatus concentrations in air and distance downwind of non-hazardous waste landfill sites. On-site and off-site repeated measurements were performed at four landfill sites during cold and warm seasons. A high-flow air-sampler device was selected so as to allow peak concentration measurement. Linear mixed-effects models were used to explain variability in the concentrations in air over time and across sites, seasons, instantaneous meteorological conditions and discharged waste tonnage. Concentrations of mesophilic moulds and A. fumigatus at off-site upwind sampling locations were compared with concentrations at each of the downwind sampling locations. At the tipping face location, peak concentration reached 480,000CFUm(-3) for mesophilic moulds and 9300CFUm(-3) for A. fumigatus. Compared with upwind background levels, these concentrations were, on average, approximately 20 and 40 times higher respectively. A steep decline in the concentration of both mesophilic moulds and A. fumigatus was observed between the tipping face location and the downwind property boundary (reduction by 77% and 84% respectively), followed by a low decline leading to a 90% and 94% reduction in concentration at 200m from the property boundary and beyond. With the 200m and 500m downwind sampling point values added together, the 97.5th percentile of concentration was 6013CFUm(-3) and 87CFUm(-3) for mesophilic moulds and A. fumigatus, respectively. Other determining factors were the discharged waste tonnage, the season, instantaneous temperature

  1. An Old Yellow Enzyme Gene Controls the Branch Point between Aspergillus fumigatus and Claviceps purpurea Ergot Alkaloid Pathways▿

    PubMed Central

    Coyle, Christine M.; Cheng, Johnathan Z.; O'Connor, Sarah E.; Panaccione, Daniel G.

    2010-01-01

    Ergot fungi in the genus Claviceps and several related fungal groups in the family Clavicipitaceae produce toxic ergot alkaloids. These fungi produce a variety of ergot alkaloids, including clavines as well as lysergic acid derivatives. Ergot alkaloids are also produced by the distantly related, opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. However, this fungus produces festuclavine and fumigaclavines A, B, and C, which collectively differ from clavines of clavicipitaceous fungi in saturation of the last assembled of four rings in the ergoline ring structure. The two lineages are hypothesized to share early steps of the ergot alkaloid pathway before diverging at some point after the synthesis of the tricyclic intermediate chanoclavine-I. Disruption of easA, a gene predicted to encode a flavin-dependent oxidoreductase of the old yellow enzyme class, in A. fumigatus led to accumulation of chanoclavine-I and chanoclavine-I-aldehyde. Complementation of the A. fumigatus easA mutant with a wild-type allele from the same fungus restored the wild-type profile of ergot alkaloids. These data demonstrate that the product of A. fumigatus easA is required for incorporation of chanoclavine-I-aldehyde into more-complex ergot alkaloids, presumably by reducing the double bond conjugated to the aldehyde group, thus facilitating ring closure. Augmentation of the A. fumigatus easA mutant with a homologue of easA from Claviceps purpurea resulted in accumulation of ergot alkaloids typical of clavicipitaceous fungi (agroclavine, setoclavine, and its diastereoisomer isosetoclavine). These data indicate that functional differences in the easA-encoded old yellow enzymes of A. fumigatus and C. purpurea result in divergence of their respective ergot alkaloid pathways. PMID:20435769

  2. The Temporal Dynamics of Differential Gene Expression in Aspergillus fumigatus Interacting with Human Immature Dendritic Cells In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Morton, Charles O.; Varga, John J.; Hornbach, Anke; Mezger, Markus; Sennefelder, Helga; Kneitz, Susanne; Kurzai, Oliver; Krappmann, Sven; Einsele, Hermann; Nierman, William C.; Rogers, Thomas R.; Loeffler, Juergen

    2011-01-01

    Dendritic cells (DC) are the most important antigen presenting cells and play a pivotal role in host immunity to infectious agents by acting as a bridge between the innate and adaptive immune systems. Monocyte-derived immature DCs (iDC) were infected with viable resting conidia of Aspergillus fumigatus (Af293) for 12 hours at an MOI of 5; cells were sampled every three hours. RNA was extracted from both organisms at each time point and hybridised to microarrays. iDC cell death increased at 6 h in the presence of A. fumigatus which coincided with fungal germ tube emergence; >80% of conidia were associated with iDC. Over the time course A. fumigatus differentially regulated 210 genes, FunCat analysis indicated significant up-regulation of genes involved in fermentation, drug transport, pathogenesis and response to oxidative stress. Genes related to cytotoxicity were differentially regulated but the gliotoxin biosynthesis genes were down regulated over the time course, while Aspf1 was up-regulated at 9 h and 12 h. There was an up-regulation of genes in the subtelomeric regions of the genome as the interaction progressed. The genes up-regulated by iDC in the presence of A. fumigatus indicated that they were producing a pro-inflammatory response which was consistent with previous transcriptome studies of iDC interacting with A. fumigatus germ tubes. This study shows that A. fumigatus adapts to phagocytosis by iDCs by utilising genes that allow it to survive the interaction rather than just up-regulation of specific virulence genes. PMID:21264256

  3. The Aspergillus fumigatus siderophore biosynthetic gene sidA, encoding L-ornithine N5-oxygenase, is required for virulence.

    PubMed

    Hissen, Anna H T; Wan, Adrian N C; Warwas, Mark L; Pinto, Linda J; Moore, Margo M

    2005-09-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the leading cause of invasive mold infection and is a serious problem in immunocompromised populations worldwide. We have previously shown that survival of A. fumigatus in serum may be related to secretion of siderophores. In this study, we identified and characterized the sidA gene of A. fumigatus, which encodes l-ornithine N(5)-oxygenase, the first committed step in hydroxamate siderophore biosynthesis. A. fumigatus sidA codes for a protein of 501 amino acids with significant homology to other fungal l-ornithine N(5)-oxygenases. A stable DeltasidA strain was created by deletion of A. fumigatus sidA. This strain was unable to synthesize the siderophores N',N",N'''-triacetylfusarinine C (TAF) and ferricrocin. Growth of the DeltasidA strain was the same as that of the wild type in rich media; however, the DeltasidA strain was unable to grow in low-iron defined media or media containing 10% human serum unless supplemented with TAF or ferricrocin. No significant differences in ferric reduction activities were observed between the parental strain and the DeltasidA strain, indicating that blocking siderophore secretion did not result in upregulation of this pathway. Unlike the parental strain, the DeltasidA strain was unable to remove iron from human transferrin. A rescued strain (DeltasidA + sidA) was constructed; it produced siderophores and had the same growth as the wild type on iron-limited media. Unlike the wild-type and rescued strains, the DeltasidA strain was avirulent in a mouse model of invasive aspergillosis, indicating that sidA is necessary for A. fumigatus virulence.

  4. The role of Dectin-1/Raf-1 signal cascade in innate immune of human corneal epithelial cells against Aspergillus fumigatus infection

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Gui-Qiu; Lin, Jing; Hu, Li-Ting; Yin, Xiao-Ni; Wang, Qian; Xu, Qiang; Li, Hui

    2016-01-01

    AIM To investigate the expression of the v-raf-1 murine leukemia viral oncogene homolog 1 (Raf-1) and its role in the innate immune response of human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs) infected by Aspergillus fumigatus. METHODS HCECs were cultured in vitro. They were randomly divided into 4 groups, including control group, Aspergillus fumigatus group, GW5074 (an inhibitor of Raf-1) group and Laminarin [an inhibitor of Dendriti-cell-associated C-type lectin 1 (Dectin-1)] group. The protein expression level of total Raf-1 and p-Raf-1was measured by Western blot. The expression of IL-6 and IL-8 mRNA in each group was detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS In Aspergillus fumigatus group, total Raf-1 protein levels in HCECs remained unchanged at 5, 15, 30 and 45min after infection, while p-Raf-1 expression was significantly enhanced at 30min after infection compared with control group. However, the expression of p-Raf-1 was apparently declined after treated with GW5074 or Laminarin compared with Aspergillus fumigatus group. The expression levels of IL-6, IL-8 mRNA were significantly increased after stimulation with fumigatus compared with control group. Pre-treated with GW5074 significantly inhibited Aspergillus fumigatus-induced upregulation of IL-8 and IL-6. CONCLUSION Aspergillus fumigatus stimulation can elevate the expression of p-Raf-1 in HCECs in vitro. Dectin-1/Raf-1 signal pathway may play a role on regulating the expression of inflammatory cytokines, including IL-6 and IL-8. PMID:27803850

  5. Redundant synthesis of a conidial polyketide by two distinct secondary metabolite clusters in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Throckmorton, Kurt; Lim, Fang Yun; Kontoyiannis, Dimitrios P.; Zheng, Weifa; Keller, Nancy P.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Filamentous fungi are renowned for the production of bioactive secondary metabolites. Typically, one distinct metabolite is generated from a specific secondary metabolite cluster. Here, we characterize the newly described trypacidin (tpc) cluster in the opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. We find that this cluster as well as the previously characterized endocrocin (enc) cluster both contribute to the production of the spore metabolite endocrocin. Whereas trypacidin is eliminated when only tpc cluster genes are deleted, endocrocin production is only eliminated when both the tpc and enc non-reducing polyketide synthase-encoding genes, tpcC and encA, respectively, are deleted. EncC, an anthrone oxidase, converts the product released from EncA to endocrocin as a final product. In contrast, endocrocin synthesis by the tpc cluster likely results from incomplete catalysis by TpcK (a putative decarboxylase), as its deletion results in a nearly 10-fold increase in endocrocin production. We suggest endocrocin is likely a shunt product in all related non-reducing polyketide synthase clusters containing homologues of TpcK and TpcL (a putative anthrone oxidase), e.g. geodin and monodictyphenone. This finding represents an unusual example of two physically discrete secondary metabolite clusters generating the same natural product in one fungal species by distinct routes. PMID:26242966

  6. Virulence determinants of the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus protect against soil amoeba predation.

    PubMed

    Hillmann, Falk; Novohradská, Silvia; Mattern, Derek J; Forberger, Tilmann; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Westermann, Martin; Winckler, Thomas; Brakhage, Axel A

    2015-08-01

    Filamentous fungi represent classical examples for environmentally acquired human pathogens whose major virulence mechanisms are likely to have emerged long before the appearance of innate immune systems. In natural habitats, amoeba predation could impose a major selection pressure towards the acquisition of virulence attributes. To test this hypothesis, we exploited the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum to study its interaction with Aspergillus fumigatus, two abundant soil inhabitants for which we found co-occurrence in various sites. Fungal conidia were efficiently taken up by D. discoideum, but ingestion was higher when conidia were devoid of the green fungal spore pigment dihydroxynaphtalene melanin, in line with earlier results obtained for immune cells. Conidia were able to survive phagocytic processing, and intracellular germination was initiated only after several hours of co-incubation which eventually led to a lethal disruption of the host cell. Besides phagocytic interactions, both amoeba and fungus secreted cross inhibitory factors which suppressed fungal growth or induced amoeba aggregation with subsequent cell lysis, respectively. On the fungal side, we identified gliotoxin as the major fungal factor killing Dictyostelium, supporting the idea that major virulence attributes, such as escape from phagocytosis and the secretion of mycotoxins are beneficial to escape from environmental predators.

  7. Biochemical and antigenic characterization of a new dipeptidyl-peptidase isolated from Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Beauvais, A; Monod, M; Debeaupuis, J P; Diaquin, M; Kobayashi, H; Latgé, J P

    1997-03-01

    A novel dipeptidyl-peptidase (DPP V) was purified from the culture medium of Aspergillus fumigatus. This is the first report of a secreted dipeptidyl-peptidase. The enzyme had a molecular mass of 88 kDa and contained approximately 9 kDa of N-linked carbohydrate. The expression and secretion of dipeptidyl-peptidase varied with the growth conditions; maximal intra- and extracellular levels were detected when the culture medium contained only proteins or protein hydrolysates in the absence of sugars. The gene of DPP V was cloned and showed significant sequence homology to other eukaryotic dipeptidyl-peptidase genes. Unlike the other dipeptidyl-peptidases, which are all intracellular, DPP V contained a signal peptide. Like the genes of other dipeptidyl-peptidases, that of DPP V displayed the consensus sequences of the catalytic site of the nonclassical serine proteases. The biochemical properties of native and recombinant DPP V obtained in Pichia pastoris were unique and were characterized by a substrate specificity limited to the hydrolysis of X-Ala, His-Ser, and Ser-Tyr dipeptides at a neutral pH optimum. In addition, we showed that DPP V is identical to one of the two major antigens used for the diagnosis of aspergillosis. PMID:9045640

  8. Cloning and disruption of the antigenic catalase gene of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed Central

    Calera, J A; Paris, S; Monod, M; Hamilton, A J; Debeaupuis, J P; Diaquin, M; López-Medrano, R; Leal, F; Latgé, J P

    1997-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus possesses two catalases (described as fast and slow on the basis of their electrophoretic mobility). The slow catalase has been recognized as a diagnostic antigen for aspergillosis in immunocompetent patients. The antigenic catalase has been purified. The enzyme is a tetrameric protein composed of 90-kDa subunits. The corresponding cat1 gene was cloned, and sequencing data show that the cat1 gene codes for a 728-amino-acid polypeptide. A recombinant protein expressed in Pichia pastoris is enzymatically active and has biochemical and antigenic properties that are similar to those of the wild-type catalase. Molecular experiments reveal that CAT1 contains a signal peptide and a propeptide of 15 and 12 amino acid residues, respectively. cat1-disrupted mutants that were unable to produce the slow catalase were as sensitive to H2O2 and polymorphonuclear cells as the wild-type strain. In addition, there was no difference in pathogenicity between the cat1 mutant and its parental cat1+ strain in a murine model of aspergillosis. PMID:9353056

  9. Expression and identification of a laminin-binding protein in Aspergillus fumigatus conidia.

    PubMed Central

    Tronchin, G; Esnault, K; Renier, G; Filmon, R; Chabasse, D; Bouchara, J P

    1997-01-01

    Adhesion of Aspergillus fumigatus, the causative agent of human aspergillosis, to the extracellular matrix protein laminin has been previously demonstrated. This study investigated the expression of laminin receptors during swelling of conidia, a step leading to germination and subsequent colonization of tissues. Scanning electron microscopy showed that the laminin binding sites were distributed over the external rodlet layer of resting conidia. During swelling, the characteristic rodlet layer progressively disintegrated and conidia surrounded by a smooth cell wall layer appeared. Flow cytometry using fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated laminin demonstrated that expression of laminin receptors at the surface of conidia was swelling dependent. Resting conidia expressed high levels of laminin receptors on their surface. A gradual decrease of laminin binding was then observed as swelling occurred, reaching a minimum for 4-h-swollen conidia. This correlated with a loss of adherence of swollen conidia to laminin immobilized on microtiter plates. Trypsin pretreatment of conidia reduced laminin binding. Analysis by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and ligand blotting with laminin identified in a cell wall extract a major 72-kDa cell wall glycoprotein which binds laminin. Thus, one of the initial events in the host colonization may be the recognition of basement membrane laminin by this 72-kDa cell wall surface component. PMID:8975886

  10. The stereochemistry of hexahydroprenol, ubiquinone and ergosterol biosynthesis in the mycelium of Aspergillus fumigatus Fresenius.

    PubMed

    Stone, K J; Hemming, F W

    1967-07-01

    1. The mycelium of Aspergillus fumigatus has been shown to incorporate mevalonate into squalene, ubiquinone, ergosterol and hexahydroprenol. 2. The (3)H/(14)C ratio in ubiquinone, biosynthesized from [2-(14)C-(4R)-4-(3)H(1)]mevalonate, is the same as in the squalene; essentially no (3)H was incorporated from [2-(14)C-(4S)-4-(3)H(1)]mevalonate, indicating the biosynthesis of biogenetically trans-isoprene units. 3. The (3)H/(14)C ratio for ergosterol (from ;4R-mevalonate') was 3:5, showing that the proton at C-24 is not lost during alkylation of the side chain; it probably migrates to C-25. 4. As (3)H from both mevalonates was incorporated into the hexahydroprenols the biosynthesis of both cis- and trans-isoprene units must occur. 5. The saturated omega- and psi-isoprene units are shown to be biogenetically trans, as are two of the unsaturated residues. 6. The saturated alpha- and unsaturated beta-isoprene residues are both biogenetically cis. 7. An inexplicable loss of approximately half of the olefinic protons from the cis-portion of hexahydroprenol occurs; possible reasons for this loss are discussed. 8. Increase in chain length of the hexahydroprenols is by a cis addition. 9. A biosynthesis of hexahydroprenols by addition of cis-isoprene units to all-trans-geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate, or a dihydro or tetrahydro derivative thereof, is suggested.

  11. Disruption of a Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetase in Aspergillus fumigatus Eliminates Gliotoxin Production

    PubMed Central

    Cramer, Robert A.; Gamcsik, Michael P.; Brooking, Rhea M.; Najvar, Laura K.; Kirkpatrick, William R.; Patterson, Thomas F.; Balibar, Carl J.; Graybill, John R.; Perfect, John R.; Abraham, Soman N.; Steinbach, William J.

    2006-01-01

    The fungal secondary metabolite gliotoxin produced by Aspergillus fumigatus has been hypothesized to be important in the development of invasive aspergillosis. In this study, we addressed this hypothesis by disrupting a nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) (encoded by gliP) predicted to be involved in gliotoxin production. Mutants with a disrupted gliP locus failed to produce gliotoxin, which confirmed the role of the NRPS encoded by gliP in gliotoxin biosynthesis. We found no morphological, developmental, or physiological defects in ΔgliP mutant strains. In addition, disruption of gliP resulted in down regulation of gene expression in the gliotoxin biosynthesis gene cluster, which was restored with addition of exogenous gliotoxin. This interesting result suggests a role for gliotoxin in regulating its own production. Culture filtrates from the ΔgliP mutant were unable to inhibit ionomycin-dependent degranulation of mast cells, suggesting a role for gliotoxin in suppressing mast cell degranulation and possibly in disease development. However, the ΔgliP mutant did not have an impact on survival or tissue burden in a murine inhalational model of invasive aspergillosis. This result suggests that gliotoxin is not required for virulence in an immunosuppressed host with an invasive pulmonary infection. PMID:16757745

  12. Innate Immunity and the Role of Epithelial Barrier During Aspergillus fumigatus Infection

    PubMed Central

    Svirshchevskaya, Elena; Zubkov, Dmitrii; Mouyna, Isabelle; Berkova, Nadia

    2012-01-01

    Fungi are the most important eukaryotic infective agents in Europe which largely overpass parasite infections. Total number of people dying of fungal infection is increasing and this trend is likely to continue due to the increase in immunosuppressive treatments. The opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus (Af) is a saprophytic filamentous fungus that can cause invasive pulmonary diseases in immuno-compromised hosts. In veterinary medicine aspergillosis is also a recurrent problem since it infects various species, birds are particularly susceptible. It propagates through airborne conidia (spores), which are inhaled into the small airways where they may germinate and initiate an infection. The host epithelium has permanent contact with the environment and a multitude of diverse microorganisms, resulting in a network of the host’s defense mechanisms. Pathogens use various strategies to invade epithelial barriers, to exploit eukaryotic host function to their own benefit and disseminate throughout the host using the epithelium as a reservoir. The current revue will discuss the ways how epithelial and innate immunity cells can contlol Af infection. We will focus on Af strategies for the host’s invasion, antifungal innate immune response and antimicrobial activities of the respiratory epithelial cells. PMID:23255875

  13. Fumigaclavines D-H, new ergot alkaloids from endophytic Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jing; Song, Yong Chun; Guo, Ye; Mei, Ya Ning; Tan, Ren Xiang

    2014-08-01

    Ergot alkaloids are toxins which are produced biotechnologically on an industrial scale. The chemical investigation of endophytic Aspergillus fumigatus resulted in the isolation of five new ergot alkaloids named fumigaclavines D-H (2-6), along with three known analogues, fumigaclavine C (1), festuclavine (7), and fumigaclavine A (8). Their structures were unequivocally elucidated by extensive spectroscopic analyses in association with X-ray single-crystal diffraction. Fumigaclavines D-H are interesting clavine-type ergot alkaloids featuring a reverse prenyl moiety at C-2, with 1-4, 6, and 8 bearing additional substituents, e.g., an OH or OAc group at C-9. Compounds 2, 4, and 6-8 showed a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity against a panel of anaerobic microorganisms, of which compounds 4 and 6 were the most active against Veillonella parvula with an MIC=16 µg/mL compared to that (0.12 µg/mL) of tinidazole, co-assayed as a positive reference. PMID:25127024

  14. An immunodominant 90-kilodalton Aspergillus fumigatus antigen is the subunit of a catalase.

    PubMed Central

    López-Medrano, R; Ovejero, M C; Calera, J A; Puente, P; Leal, F

    1995-01-01

    We have identified, purified, and characterized structurally and functionally a 90-kDa immunodominant antigen associated with the water-soluble fraction of Aspergillus fumigatus. This antigen is recognized by 90.3% of serum samples from patients with aspergilloma and should be considered either by itself or better in combination with other purified antigens as a candidate for developing a standardized immunoassay for the detection of aspergilloma. p90 is a glycoprotein containing at least two two N-linked sugar chains of 2 and 5 kDa, respectively, which are not necessary for its reactivity with aspergilloma serum samples. Using specific anti-p90 rabbit serum, we have demonstrated that under native conditions, p90 exists in oligomeric form and has associated catalase activity. This activity is resistant to extreme temperatures (> 60 degrees C), reducing agents (40 mM dithiothreitol), high concentrations of denaturing agents such as 8 M urea and 8% sodium dodecyl sulfate, and treatments with ethanol-chloroform-water (5:3:10 [vol/vol]) mixtures. PMID:7591135

  15. Virulence determinants of the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus protect against soil amoeba predation.

    PubMed

    Hillmann, Falk; Novohradská, Silvia; Mattern, Derek J; Forberger, Tilmann; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Westermann, Martin; Winckler, Thomas; Brakhage, Axel A

    2015-08-01

    Filamentous fungi represent classical examples for environmentally acquired human pathogens whose major virulence mechanisms are likely to have emerged long before the appearance of innate immune systems. In natural habitats, amoeba predation could impose a major selection pressure towards the acquisition of virulence attributes. To test this hypothesis, we exploited the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum to study its interaction with Aspergillus fumigatus, two abundant soil inhabitants for which we found co-occurrence in various sites. Fungal conidia were efficiently taken up by D. discoideum, but ingestion was higher when conidia were devoid of the green fungal spore pigment dihydroxynaphtalene melanin, in line with earlier results obtained for immune cells. Conidia were able to survive phagocytic processing, and intracellular germination was initiated only after several hours of co-incubation which eventually led to a lethal disruption of the host cell. Besides phagocytic interactions, both amoeba and fungus secreted cross inhibitory factors which suppressed fungal growth or induced amoeba aggregation with subsequent cell lysis, respectively. On the fungal side, we identified gliotoxin as the major fungal factor killing Dictyostelium, supporting the idea that major virulence attributes, such as escape from phagocytosis and the secretion of mycotoxins are beneficial to escape from environmental predators. PMID:25684622

  16. The Impact of Aspergillus fumigatus Viability and Sensitization to Its Allergens on the Murine Allergic Asthma Phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Pandey, Sumali; Hoselton, Scott A.; Schuh, Jane M.

    2013-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a ubiquitously present respiratory pathogen. The outcome of a pulmonary disease may vary significantly with fungal viability and host immune status. Our objective in this study was (1) to assess the ability of inhaled irradiation-killed or live A. fumigatus spores to induce allergic pulmonary disease and (2) to assess the extent to which inhaled dead or live A. fumigatus spores influence pulmonary symptoms in a previously established allergic state. Our newly developed fungal delivery apparatus allowed us to recapitulate human exposure through repeated inhalation of dry fungal spores in an animal model. We found that live A. fumigatus spore inhalation led to a significantly increased humoral response, pulmonary inflammation, and airway remodeling in naïve mice and is more likely to induce allergic asthma symptoms than the dead spores. In contrast, in allergic mice, inhalation of dead and live conidia recruited neutrophils and induced goblet cell metaplasia. This data suggests that asthma symptoms might be exacerbated by the inhalation of live or dead spores in individuals with established allergy to fungal antigens, although the extent of symptoms was less with dead spores. These results are likely to be important while considering fungal exposure assessment methods and for making informed therapeutic decisions for mold-associated diseases. PMID:24063011

  17. The Aspergillus fumigatus sitA Phosphatase Homologue Is Important for Adhesion, Cell Wall Integrity, Biofilm Formation, and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Bom, Vinícius Leite Pedro; de Castro, Patrícia Alves; Winkelströter, Lizziane K.; Marine, Marçal; Hori, Juliana I.; Ramalho, Leandra Naira Zambelli; dos Reis, Thaila Fernanda; Goldman, Maria Helena S.; Brown, Neil Andrew; Rajendran, Ranjith; Ramage, Gordon; Walker, Louise A.; Munro, Carol A.; Rocha, Marina Campos; Malavazi, Iran; Hagiwara, Daisuke

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic pathogenic fungus able to infect immunocompromised patients, eventually causing disseminated infections that are difficult to control and lead to high mortality rates. It is important to understand how the signaling pathways that regulate these factors involved in virulence are orchestrated. Protein phosphatases are central to numerous signal transduction pathways. Here, we characterize the A. fumigatus protein phosphatase 2A SitA, the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Sit4p homologue. The sitA gene is not an essential gene, and we were able to construct an A. fumigatus null mutant. The ΔsitA strain had decreased MpkA phosphorylation levels, was more sensitive to cell wall-damaging agents, had increased β-(1,3)-glucan and chitin, was impaired in biofilm formation, and had decreased protein kinase C activity. The ΔsitA strain is more sensitive to several metals and ions, such as MnCl2, CaCl2, and LiCl, but it is more resistant to ZnSO4. The ΔsitA strain was avirulent in a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis and induces an augmented tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) response in mouse macrophages. These results stress the importance of A. fumigatus SitA as a possible modulator of PkcA/MpkA activity and its involvement in the cell wall integrity pathway. PMID:25911225

  18. Functional Characterization of an Aspergillus fumigatus Calcium Transporter (PmcA) that Is Essential for Fungal Infection

    PubMed Central

    Dinamarco, Taísa Magnani; Freitas, Fernanda Zanolli; Almeida, Ricardo S.; Brown, Neil Andrew; dos Reis, Thaila Fernanda; Ramalho, Leandra Naira Zambelli; Savoldi, Marcela; Goldman, Maria Helena S.; Bertolini, Maria Célia; Goldman, Gustavo Henrique

    2012-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a primary and opportunistic pathogen, as well as a major allergen, of mammals. The Ca+2-calcineurin pathway affects virulence, morphogenesis and antifungal drug action in A. fumigatus. Here, we investigated three components of the A. fumigatus Ca+2-calcineurin pathway, pmcA,-B, and -C, which encode calcium transporters. We demonstrated that CrzA can directly control the mRNA accumulation of the pmcA-C genes by binding to their promoter regions. CrzA-binding experiments suggested that the 5′-CACAGCCAC-3′ and 5′-CCCTGCCCC-3′ sequences upstream of pmcA and pmcC genes, respectively, are possible calcineurin-dependent response elements (CDREs)-like consensus motifs. Null mutants were constructed for pmcA and -B and a conditional mutant for pmcC demonstrating pmcC is an essential gene. The ΔpmcA and ΔpmcB mutants were more sensitive to calcium and resistant to manganese and cyclosporin was able to modulate the sensitivity or resistance of these mutants to these salts, supporting the interaction between calcineurin and the function of these transporters. The pmcA-C genes have decreased mRNA abundance into the alveoli in the ΔcalA and ΔcrzA mutant strains. However, only the A. fumigatus ΔpmcA was avirulent in the murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. PMID:22649543

  19. Insights from the Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Cellobiohydrolase Cel6A Molecular Structural Model from Aspergillus fumigatus NITDGPKA3.

    PubMed

    Dodda, Subba Reddy; Sarkar, Nibedita; Aikat, Kaustav; Krishnaraj, Navanietha R; Bhattacharjee, Sanchari; Bagchi, Angshuman; Mukhopadhyay, Sudit S

    2016-01-01

    Global demand for bioethanol is increasing tremendously as it could help to replace the conventional fossil fuel and at the same time supporting the bioremediation of huge volume of cellulosic wastes generated from different sources. Ideal genetic engineering approaches are essential to improve the efficacy of the bioethanol production processes for real time applications. A locally isolated fungal strain Aspergillus fumigatus NITDGPKA3 was used in our laboratory for the hydrolysis of lignocellulose with good cellulolytic activity when compared with other contemporary fungal strains. An attempt is made to sequence the cellobiohydrolases (CBHs) of A. fumigatus NITDGPKA3, model its structure to predict its catalytic activity towards improving the protein by genetic engineering approaches. Herein, the structure of the sequenced Cellobiohydrolases (CBHs) of A. fumigatus NITDGPKA3, modelled by homology modelling and its validation is reported. Further the catalytic activity of the modelled CBH enzyme was assessed by molecular docking analysis. Phylogenetic analysis showed that CBH from A. fumigatus NITDGPKA3 belongs to the Glycohydro 6 (Cel6A) super family. Molecular modeling and molecular dynamics simulation suggest the structural and functional mechanism of the enzyme. The structures of both the cellulose binding (CBD) and catalytic domain (CD) have been compared with most widely studied CBH of Trichoderma reesei. The molecular docking with cellulose suggests that Gln 248, Pro 287, Val236, Asn284, and Ala288 are the main amino acids involved in the hydrolysis of the β, 1-4, glycosidic bonds of cellulose. PMID:27109185

  20. New in vitro assay based on glucose consumption for determining intraconazole and amphotericin B activities against Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed Central

    Garrigues, J C; Cadet de Fontenay, G; Linas, M D; Lagente, M; Seguela, J P

    1994-01-01

    We developed a new in vitro method of evaluating antifungal molecules. Fungal growth was determined by measuring glucose consumption, the only carbon source in a synthetic medium. First, the growth of 12 Aspergillus fumigatus strains was studied. Glucose consumption was an excellent indicator of fungal growth. Second, the partial inhibition of growth was calculated in terms of the 90% or 50% inhibitory concentration for the 12 strains after treatment with itraconazole and amphotericin B. With a 3-day incubation time, the calculated 90% and 50% inhibitory concentrations agreed with those obtained by a macromethod and with those reported in previous publications. In each case the high degrees of efficacy of itraconazole and amphotericin B against A. fumigatus were confirmed. Partial inhibition induced by low concentrations of antifungal agents was quantifiable by this new method. PMID:7695274

  1. Impact of urban air pollution on the allergenicity of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia: Outdoor exposure study supported by laboratory experiments.

    PubMed

    Lang-Yona, Naama; Shuster-Meiseles, Timor; Mazar, Yinon; Yarden, Oded; Rudich, Yinon

    2016-01-15

    Understanding the chemical interactions of common allergens in urban environments may help to decipher the general increase in susceptibility to allergies observed in recent decades. In this study, asexual conidia of the allergenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus were exposed to air pollution under natural (ambient) and controlled (laboratory) conditions. The allergenic activity was measured using two immunoassays and supported by a protein mass spectrometry analysis. The allergenicity of the conidia was found to increase by 2-5 fold compared to the control for short exposure times of up to 12h (accumulated exposure of about 50 ppb NO2 and 750 ppb O3), possibly due to nitration. At higher exposure times, the allergenicity increase lessened due to protein deamidation. These results indicate that during the first 12h of exposure, the allergenic potency of the fungal allergen A. fumigatus in polluted urban environments is expected to increase. Additional work is needed in order to determine if this behavior occurs for other allergens.

  2. A comparative study of antigens of Aspergillus fumigatus isolates from patients and soil of ornamental plants in the immunodiffusion test.

    PubMed

    Staib, F; Folkens, U; Tompak, B; Abel, T; Thiel, D

    1978-11-01

    The strikingly frequent and constant presence of Aspergillus fimigatus in the soil of potted ornamental plants kept in private houses and hospitals has been the reason for studying the antigens of the strains found from the diagnostic and epidemiological angles. Culture-filtrate antigens of A. fumigatus strains isolated from the soil of 4 different ornamental plants, epiphyllum (Epiphyllum truncatum), orange tree (Citrus sinensis), Alpine rose (Azalea indica) and Christmas flower (Euphorbia pulcherrima), were compared, in the immunodiffusion test, with antigens of A. fumigatus strains from aspergillosis patients prepared in an identical way. When tested against 8 different sera from different aspergillosis patients there was a good coincidence of results. Control sera from patients suffering from diseases other than aspergillosis, no false-positive reactions could be observed. The findings are discussed in respect of diagnosis and epidemiology.

  3. Molecular Characterization of a Voriconazole-Resistant, Posaconazole-Susceptible Aspergillus fumigatus Isolate in a Lung Transplant Recipient in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Vazquez, Jose A.

    2015-01-01

    Molecular characterization of cyp51A from the azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus isolate 50593 from a lung transplant patient showed Y121F/T289A changes coupled with a 46-bp tandem repeat (TR46) on the promoter, whereas cyp51A from the pretherapy isolate, A. fumigatus 47381, showed no changes. This is the first reported case of A. fumigatus azole resistance due to Y121F/T289A/TR46 in the United States, suggesting that multiple mutational alterations of cyp51A resulting in high-level azole resistance could occur during prolonged antifungal therapy. PMID:26574014

  4. The Fumagillin Biosynthetic Gene Cluster in Aspergillus fumigatus Encodes a Cryptic Terpene Cyclase Involved in the Formation of β-trans-Bergamotene

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Hsiao-Ching; Chooi, Yit-Heng; Dhingra, Sourabh; Xu, Wei; Calvo, Ana M.; Tang, Yi

    2013-01-01

    Fumagillin 1 is a meroterpenoid from Aspergillus fumigatus that is known for its anti-angiogenic activity by binding to human methionine aminopeptidase 2. The genetic and molecular basis for biosynthesis of 1 had been an enigma despite the availability of the A. fumigatus genome sequence. Here, we reported the identification and verification of the fma gene cluster, followed by characterization of the polyketide synthase and acyltransferase involved in biosynthesis of the dioic acid portion of 1. More significantly, we uncovered the elusive β-trans-bergamotene synthase in A. fumigatus as a membrane-bound terpene cyclase. PMID:23488861

  5. What makes Aspergillus fumigatus a successful pathogen? Genes and molecules involved in invasive aspergillosis.

    PubMed

    Abad, Ana; Fernández-Molina, Jimena Victoria; Bikandi, Joseba; Ramírez, Andoni; Margareto, Javier; Sendino, Javier; Hernando, Fernando Luis; Pontón, Jose; Garaizar, Javier; Rementeria, Aitor

    2010-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic pathogen that causes 90% of invasive aspergillosis (IA) due to Aspergillus genus, with a 50-95% mortality rate. It has been postulated that certain virulence factors are characteristic of A. fumigatus, but the "non-classical" virulence factors seem to be highly variable. Overall, published studies have demonstrated that the virulence of this fungus is multifactorial, associated with its structure, its capacity for growth and adaptation to stress conditions, its mechanisms for evading the immune system and its ability to cause damage to the host. In this review we intend to give a general overview of the genes and molecules involved in the development of IA. The thermotolerance section focuses on five genes related with the capacity of the fungus to grow at temperatures above 30°C (thtA, cgrA, afpmt1, kre2/afmnt1, and hsp1/asp f 12). The following sections discuss molecules and genes related to interaction with the host and with the immune responses. These sections include β-glucan, α-glucan, chitin, galactomannan, galactomannoproteins (afmp1/asp f 17 and afmp2), hydrophobins (rodA/hyp1 and rodB), DHN-melanin, their respective synthases (fks1, rho1-4, ags1-3, chsA-G, och1-4, mnn9, van1, anp1, glfA, pksP/alb1, arp1, arp2, abr1, abr2, and ayg1), and modifying enzymes (gel1-7, bgt1, eng1, ecm33, afpigA, afpmt1-2, afpmt4, kre2/afmnt1, afmnt2-3, afcwh41 and pmi); several enzymes related to oxidative stress protection such as catalases (catA, cat1/catB, cat2/katG, catC, and catE), superoxide dismutases (sod1, sod2, sod3/asp f 6, and sod4), fatty acid oxygenases (ppoA-C), glutathione tranferases (gstA-E), and others (afyap1, skn7, and pes1); and efflux transporters (mdr1-4, atrF, abcA-E, and msfA-E). In addition, this review considers toxins and related genes, such as a diffusible toxic substance from conidia, gliotoxin (gliP and gliZ), mitogillin (res/mitF/asp f 1), hemolysin (aspHS), festuclavine and fumigaclavine A

  6. Pyripyropenes, novel inhibitors of acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase produced by Aspergillus fumigatus. I. Production, isolation, and biological properties.

    PubMed

    Tomoda, H; Kim, Y K; Nishida, H; Masuma, R; Omura, S

    1994-02-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus FO-1289, a soil isolate, was found to produce a series of novel inhibitors of acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT). Four active compounds, named pyripyropenes A, B, C and D, were isolated from the fermentation broth of the producing strain by solvent extraction, silica gel column chromatography, ODS column chromatography and preparative HPLC. Pyripyropenes A, B, C and D show very potent ACAT inhibitory activity in an enzyme assay system using rat liver microsomes with IC50 values of 58, 117, 53 and 268 nM, respectively. PMID:8150709

  7. First description of azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus due to TR46/Y121F/T289A mutation in France.

    PubMed

    Lavergne, Rose-Anne; Morio, Florent; Favennec, Loïc; Dominique, Stéphane; Meis, Jacques F; Gargala, Gilles; Verweij, Paul E; Le Pape, Patrice

    2015-07-01

    Azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus is an emerging public health concern. Recently, a novel fungicide-driven mutation in the cyp51A gene and its promoter, TR46/Y121F/T289A, leading to high-level resistance to voriconazole has been identified in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Tanzania, and India in both clinical and environmental samples. Here we report the first description of A. fumigatus carrying this mutation in France, in a cystic fibrosis patient, underlining the need for extensive monitoring of Aspergillus resistance.

  8. Collaborative Cross mice and their power to map host susceptibility to Aspergillus fumigatus infection

    PubMed Central

    Durrant, Caroline; Tayem, Hanna; Yalcin, Binnaz; Cleak, James; Goodstadt, Leo; Pardo-Manuel de Villena, Fernando; Mott, Richard; Iraqi, Fuad A.

    2011-01-01

    The Collaborative Cross (CC) is a genetic reference panel of recombinant inbred lines of mice, designed for the dissection of complex traits and gene networks. Each line is independently descended from eight genetically diverse founder strains such that the genomes of the CC lines, once fully inbred, are fine-grained homozygous mosaics of the founder haplotypes. We present an analysis of 120 CC lines, from a cohort of the CC bred at Tel Aviv University in collaboration with the University of Oxford, which at the time of this study were between the sixth and 12th generations of inbreeding and substantially homozygous at 170,000 SNPs. We show how CC genomes decompose into mosaics, and we identify loci that carry a deficiency or excess of a founder, many being deficient for the wild-derived strains WSB/EiJ and PWK/PhJ. We phenotyped 371 mice from 66 CC lines for a susceptibility to Aspergillus fumigatus infection. The survival time after infection varied significantly between CC lines. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping identified genome-wide significant QTLs on chromosomes 2, 3, 8, 10 (two QTLs), 15, and 18. Simulations show that QTL mapping resolution (the median distance between the QTL peak and true location) varied between 0.47 and 1.18 Mb. Most of the QTLs involved contrasts between wild-derived founder strains and therefore would not segregate between classical inbred strains. Use of variation data from the genomes of the CC founder strains refined these QTLs further and suggested several candidate genes. These results support the use of the CC for dissecting complex traits. PMID:21493779

  9. A novel beta-(1-3)-glucanosyltransferase from the cell wall of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Hartland, R P; Fontaine, T; Debeaupuis, J P; Simenel, C; Delepierre, M; Latgé, J P

    1996-10-25

    Cell wall transferases utilizing beta-(1-3)-glucan chains as substrates may play important roles in cell wall assembly and rearrangement, as beta-(1-3)-glucan is a major structural component of the cell wall of many fungi. A novel beta-(1-3)-glucanosyltransferase was purified to apparent homogenei ty from an autolysate of the cell wall of Aspergillus fumigatus. The enzyme had a molecular mass of 49 kDa and contained approximately 5 kDa of N-linked carbohydrate. The enzyme catalyzed an initial endo-type splitting of a beta-(1-3)-glucan molecule, followed by linkage of the newly generated reducing end to the nonreducing end of another beta-(1-3)-glucan molecule. Laminarioligosaccharides of size G10 and greater were donor substrates for the transferase. Laminarioligosaccharides of size G5 and greater formed acceptors. The enzyme was able to reuse initial transferase products as donors and acceptors in extended incubations, resulting in the formation of increasingly larger transferase products until they became insoluble. The major initial products from an incubation of the transferase with borohydride-reduced G11 (rG11) were rG6 and rG16. 1H NMR analysis of the rG16 transferase product showed it was a laminarioligosaccharide, indicating that the enzyme forms a beta-(1-3)-linkage during transfer. The enzyme may have a key function in vivo by allowing the integration of newly synthesized glucan into the wall and promoting cell wall expansion during cell growth.

  10. Characterization of the tRNA ligases of pathogenic fungi Aspergillus fumigatus and Coccidioides immitis.

    PubMed

    Remus, Barbara S; Schwer, Beate; Shuman, Stewart

    2016-10-01

    Yeast tRNA ligase (Trl1) is an essential trifunctional enzyme that repairs RNA breaks with 2',3'-cyclic-PO4 and 5'-OH ends. Trl1 is composed of C-terminal cyclic phosphodiesterase and central polynucleotide kinase domains that heal the broken ends to generate the 3'-OH, 2'-PO4, and 5'-PO4 termini required for sealing by an N-terminal ligase domain. Trl1 enzymes are found in all human fungal pathogens and they are promising targets for antifungal drug discovery because: (i) their domain structures and biochemical mechanisms are unique compared to the mammalian RtcB-type tRNA splicing enzyme; and (ii) there are no obvious homologs of the Trl1 ligase domain in mammalian proteomes. Here we characterize the tRNA ligases of two human fungal pathogens: Coccidioides immitis and Aspergillus fumigatus The biological activity of CimTrl1 and AfuTrl1 was verified by showing that their expression complements a Saccharomyces cerevisiae trl1Δ mutant. Purified recombinant AfuTrl1 and CimTrl1 proteins were catalytically active in joining 2',3'-cyclic-PO4 and 5'-OH ends in vitro, either as full-length proteins or as a mixture of separately produced healing and sealing domains. The biochemical properties of CimTrl1 and AfuTrl1 are similar to those of budding yeast Trl1, particularly with respect to their preferential use of GTP as the phosphate donor for the polynucleotide kinase reaction. Our findings provide genetic and biochemical tools to screen for inhibitors of tRNA ligases from pathogenic fungi.

  11. Oxygen and an Extracellular Phase Transition Independently Control Central Regulatory Genes and Conidiogenesis in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Chi, Myoung-Hwan; Craven, Kelly D.

    2013-01-01

    Conidiogenesis is the primary process for asexual reproduction in filamentous fungi. As the conidia resulting from the conidiogenesis process are primarily disseminated via air currents and/or water, an outstanding question has been how fungi recognize aerial environments suitable for conidial development. In this study, we documented the somewhat complex development of the conidia-bearing structures, termed conidiophores, from several Aspergillus species in a subsurface (gel-phase) layer of solid media. A subset of the isolates studied was able to develop conidiophores in a gel-phase environment, but exposure to the aeriform environment was required for the terminal developmental transition from phialide cells to conidia. The remaining Aspergilli could not initiate the conidiogenesis process until they were exposed to the aeriform environment. Our observations of conidiophore development in high or low oxygen conditions in both aeriform and gel-phase environments revealed that oxygen and the aeriform state are positive environmental factors for inducing conidiogenesis in most of the aspergilli tested in this study. Transcriptional analysis using A. fumigatus strain AF293 confined to either the aeriform or gel-phase environments revealed that expression of a key regulatory gene for conidiophore development (AfubrlA) is facilitated by oxygen while expression of another regulatory gene controlling conidia formation from phialides (AfuabaA) was repressed regardless of oxygen levels in the gel-embedded environment. Furthermore, by comparing the developmental behavior of conidiation-defective mutants lacking genes controlling various regulatory checkpoints throughout the conidiogenesis pathway, we propose that this aerial response by the fungus requires both oxygen and the phase transition (solid to aeriform), with these environmental signals integrating into the upstream regulatory pathway and central regulatory pathway of conidiogenesis, respectively. Our findings

  12. Cell wall biogenesis in a double chitin synthase mutant (chsG-/chsE-) of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Mellado, E; Dubreucq, G; Mol, P; Sarfati, J; Paris, S; Diaquin, M; Holden, D W; Rodriguez-Tudela, J L; Latgé, J P

    2003-02-01

    Previous studies (Aufauvre-Brown et al., 1997; Mellado et al., 1996a,b ) have shown that only two genes of the Aspergillus fumigatus chitin synthase family, chsG and chsE, play a role in the morphogenesis of this fungal species. An A. fumigatus strain lacking both chsG (class III CHS) and chsE (class V CHS) genes was constructed by gene replacement of the chsE gene with a copy that has its conserved coding region interrupted by the hph resistance cassette in an A. fumigatus chsG- genetic background. Unexpectedly the double disruption was not lethal. The double mutant AfchsG-/chsE- strain (i) has reduced chitin synthase activity with or without trypsin stimulation, (ii) has a reduced colony radial growth rate, (iii) produces highly branched hyphae, (iv) exhibits aberrant features, such as periodic swellings along the length of the hyphae and a block in conidiation that can be partially restored by an osmotic stabilizer (v) shows alterations in the shape and germination capacity of the conidia, and (vi) has a cell wall that contains half the chitin of the parental strain and is, unexpectedly, highly enriched in alpha-(1-3) glucan. PMID:12553940

  13. Identification and characterization of an anti-oxidative stress-associated mutant of Aspergillus fumigatus transformed by Agrobacterium tumefaciens

    PubMed Central

    FAN, ZHONGQI; YU, HUIMEI; GUO, QI; HE, DAN; XUE, BAIJI; XIE, XIANGLI; YOKOYAMA, KOJI; WANG, LI

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most common opportunistic pathogenic fungi, surviving in various environmental conditions. Maintenance of the redox homeostasis of the fungus relies upon the well-organized regulation between reactive oxygen species generated by immune cells or its own organelles, and the activated anti-oxidative stress mechanism. To investigate such a mechanism, the present study obtained a number of randomly-inserted mutants of A. fumigatus, mediated by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. In addition, a high throughput hydrogen peroxide screening system was established to examine ~1,000 mutants. A total of 100 mutants exhibited changes in hydrogen peroxide sensitivity, among which a significant increase in sensitivity was observed in the AFM2658 mutant. Further investigations of the mutant were also performed, in which the sequence of this mutant was characterized using thermal asymmetric interlaced-polymerase chain reaction. This revealed that the insertion site was located on chromosome 2 afu1_92, and the 96 bp sequence was knocked out, which partially comprised a sequence localized between the integral membrane protein coding region and the helix-loop-helix transcription factor coding region. A decrease in the levels of anti-oxidative stress-associated mRNAs were observed, and an increase in reactive oxygen species were detected using fluorescence. The results of the present study demonstrated that this sequence may have a protective role in A. fumigatus in the presence of oxidative stress. PMID:26847000

  14. Exploration of Sulfur Assimilation of Aspergillus fumigatus Reveals Biosynthesis of Sulfur-Containing Amino Acids as a Virulence Determinant

    PubMed Central

    Dümig, Michaela; O'Keeffe, Gráinne; Binder, Jasmin; Doyle, Sean; Beilhack, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Fungal infections are of major relevance due to the increased numbers of immunocompromised patients, frequently delayed diagnosis, and limited therapeutics. To date, the growth and nutritional requirements of fungi during infection, which are relevant for invasion of the host, are poorly understood. This is particularly true for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, as so far, sources of (macro)elements that are exploited during infection have been identified to only a limited extent. Here, we have investigated sulfur (S) utilization by the human-pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus during invasive growth. Our data reveal that inorganic S compounds or taurine is unlikely to serve as an S source during invasive pulmonary aspergillosis since a sulfate transporter mutant strain and a sulfite reductase mutant strain are fully virulent. In contrast, the S-containing amino acid cysteine is limiting for fungal growth, as proven by the reduced virulence of a cysteine auxotroph. Moreover, phenotypic characterization of this strain further revealed the robustness of the subordinate glutathione redox system. Interestingly, we demonstrate that methionine synthase is essential for A. fumigatus virulence, defining the biosynthetic route of this proteinogenic amino acid as a potential antifungal target. In conclusion, we provide novel insights into the nutritional requirements of A. fumigatus during pathogenesis, a prerequisite to understanding and fighting infection. PMID:26787716

  15. Deletion and Allelic Exchange of the Aspergillus fumigatus veA Locus via a Novel Recyclable Marker Module

    PubMed Central

    Krappmann, Sven; Bayram, Özgür; Braus, Gerhard H.

    2005-01-01

    Detailed evaluation of gene functions in an asexual fungus requires advanced methods of molecular biology. For the generation of targeted gene deletions in the opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus we designed a novel blaster module allowing dominant selection of transformants due to resistance to phleomycin as well as dominant (counter)selection of a Cre recombinase-mediated marker excision event. For validation purposes we have deleted the A. fumigatus pabaA gene in a wild-type isolate by making use of this cassette. The resulting pabaA::loxP strain served as the recipient for subsequent targeting of the velvet locus. Homologous reconstitution of the deleted gene was performed by an allele whose expression is driven in a nitrogen source-dependent manner, as validated by Northern analyses. Overexpression of the veA locus in A. fumigatus does not result in any obvious phenotype, whereas the sporulation capacities of the veA null mutant are reduced on nitrate-containing medium, a phenotype that is completely restored in the reconstituted strain. PMID:16002655

  16. Proteomic analysis of temperature dependent extracellular proteins from Aspergillus fumigatus grown under solid-state culture condition.

    PubMed

    Adav, Sunil S; Ravindran, Anita; Sze, Siu Kwan

    2013-06-01

    Fungal species of the genus Aspergillus are filamentous ubiquitous saprophytes that play a major role in lignocellulosic biomass recycling and also are considered as cell factories for the production of organic acids, pharmaceuticals, and industrially important enzymes. Analysis of extracellular secreted biomass degrading enzymes using complex lignocellulosic biomass as a substrate by solid-state fermentation could be a more practical approach to evaluate application of the enzymes for lignocellulosic biorefinery. This study isolated a fungal strain from compost, identified as Aspergillus fumigatus, and further analyzed it for lignocellulolytic enzymes at different temperatures using label free quantitative proteomics. The profile of secretome composition discovered cellulases, hemicellulases, lignin degrading proteins, peptidases and proteases, and transport and hypothetical proteins; while protein abundances and further their hierarchical clustering analysis revealed temperature dependent expression of these enzymes during solid-state fermentation of sawdust. The enzyme activities and protein abundances as determined by exponentially modified protein abundance index (emPAI) indicated the maximum activities at the range of 40-50 °C, demonstrating the thermophilic nature of the isolate A. fumigatus LF9. Characterization of the thermostability of secretome suggested the potential of the isolated fungal strain in the production of thermophilic biomass degrading enzymes for industrial application. PMID:23647126

  17. A soluble fucose-specific lectin from Aspergillus fumigatus conidia--structure, specificity and possible role in fungal pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Houser, Josef; Komarek, Jan; Kostlanova, Nikola; Cioci, Gianluca; Varrot, Annabelle; Kerr, Sheena C; Lahmann, Martina; Balloy, Viviane; Fahy, John V; Chignard, Michel; Imberty, Anne; Wimmerova, Michaela

    2013-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an important allergen and opportunistic pathogen. Similarly to many other pathogens, it is able to produce lectins that may be involved in the host-pathogen interaction. We focused on the lectin AFL, which was prepared in recombinant form and characterized. Its binding properties were studied using hemagglutination and glycan array analysis. We determined the specificity of the lectin towards l-fucose and fucosylated oligosaccharides, including α1-6 linked core-fucose, which is an important marker for cancerogenesis. Other biologically relevant saccharides such as sialic acid, d-mannose or d-galactose were not bound. Blood group epitopes of the ABH and Lewis systems were recognized, Le(Y) being the preferred ligand among others. To provide a correlation between the observed functional characteristics and structural basis, AFL was crystallized in a complex with methyl-α,L-selenofucoside and its structure was solved using the SAD method. Six binding sites, each with different compositions, were identified per monomer and significant differences from the homologous AAL lectin were found. Structure-derived peptides were utilized to prepare anti-AFL polyclonal antibodies, which suggested the presence of AFL on the Aspergillus' conidia, confirming its expression in vivo. Stimulation of human bronchial cells by AFL led to IL-8 production in a dose-dependent manner. AFL thus probably contributes to the inflammatory response observed upon the exposure of a patient to A. fumigatus. The combination of affinity to human epithelial epitopes, production by conidia and pro-inflammatory activity is remarkable and shows that AFL might be an important virulence factor involved in an early stage of A. fumigatus infection.

  18. A fast and quantitative evaluation of the Aspergillus fumigatus biofilm adhesion properties by means of digital pulsed force mode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maiorana, Alessandro; Papi, Massimiliano; Bugli, Francesca; Torelli, Riccardo; Maulucci, Giuseppe; Cacaci, Margherita; Posteraro, Brunella; Sanguinetti, Maurizio; De Spirito, Marco

    2013-08-01

    The opportunistic pathogenic mould Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) is an increasing cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised and in part immunocompetent patients. A. fumigatus can grow in multicellular communities by the formation of a hyphal network embedded in an extracellular matrix (ECM) meanly composed by polysaccharides, melanin, proteins. Because adhesion properties is one primary factor affecting the balance between growth, detachment and biofilm formation, its quantification is essential in understanding, predicting, and modelling biofilm development. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) imaging and force spectroscopy have recently opened a range of novel applications in microbiology including the imaging and manipulation of membrane proteins at the subnanometer level, the observation of the surface of living cells at high resolution, the mapping of local properties such as surface charges, the measurement of elastic properties of cell-surface constituents and the probing of cellular interactions using functionalized probes. Nevertheless, the principal disadvantage of this approach is the relatively slow acquisition rate that makes AFM is not able to detect fast dynamics. In this study we demonstrated that digital pulsed force mode (DPFM) atomic force microscopy can be used to obtain high-resolution topographical images and to quantify the adhesion properties of the A. fumigatus biofilm with an high acquisition rate. Here we show by means of DPFM-AFM that Alginate Lyase (AlgL), an enzyme known to reduce negatively charged alginate levels in microbial biofilm, is able to reduce the biofilm adhesion forces forming several nano-fractures in the ECM. These results suggest that the AlgL could used to enhance the antifungal drugs transit through the ECM.

  19. Emerging aspergillosis by azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus at an intensive care unit in the Netherlands, 2010 to 2013.

    PubMed

    van Paassen, Judith; Russcher, Anne; In 't Veld-van Wingerden, Astrid Wm; Verweij, Paul E; Kuijper, Eduard J

    2016-07-28

    The prevalence of invasive aspergillosis (IA) at the intensive care unit (ICU) is unknown and difficult to assess since IA also develops in patients lacking specific host factors. In the Netherlands, increasing azole-resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus complicates treatment of patients with IA. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of IA by azole-resistant A. fumigatus at the ICU among patients receiving antifungal treatment and to follow their clinical outcome and prognosis. A retrospective cohort study was conducted in a university hospital ICU from January 2010 to December 2013. From all patients who received antifungal treatment for suspected IA, relevant clinical and microbiological data were collected using a standardised questionnaire. Of 9,121 admitted ICU-patients, 136 had received antifungal treatment for suspected IA, of which 38 had a positive A. fumigatus culture. Ten of the 38 patients harboured at least one azole-resistant isolate. Resistance mechanisms consisted of alterations in the cyp51A gene, more specific TR34/L98H and TR46/T289A/Y121F. Microsatellite typing did not show clonal relatedness, though isolates from two patients were genetically related. The overall 90-day mortality of patients with IA by azole-resistant A. fumigatus and patients with suspicion of IA by azole-susceptible isolates in the ICU was 100% (10/10) vs 82% (23/28) respectively. We conclude that the changing pattern of IA in ICU patients requires appropriate criteria for recognition, diagnosis and rapid resistance tests. The increase in azole resistance rates also challenges a reconsideration of empirical antifungal therapy. PMID:27541498

  20. Regulation of Sulphur Assimilation Is Essential for Virulence and Affects Iron Homeostasis of the Human-Pathogenic Mould Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Amich, Jorge; Schafferer, Lukas; Haas, Hubertus; Krappmann, Sven

    2013-01-01

    Sulphur is an essential element that all pathogens have to absorb from their surroundings in order to grow inside their infected host. Despite its importance, the relevance of sulphur assimilation in fungal virulence is largely unexplored. Here we report a role of the bZIP transcription factor MetR in sulphur assimilation and virulence of the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. The MetR regulator is essential for growth on a variety of sulphur sources; remarkably, it is fundamental for assimilation of inorganic S-sources but dispensable for utilization of methionine. Accordingly, it strongly supports expression of genes directly related to inorganic sulphur assimilation but not of genes connected to methionine metabolism. On a broader scale, MetR orchestrates the comprehensive transcriptional adaptation to sulphur-starving conditions as demonstrated by digital gene expression analysis. Surprisingly, A. fumigatus is able to utilize volatile sulphur compounds produced by its methionine catabolism, a process that has not been described before and that is MetR-dependent. The A. fumigatus MetR transcriptional activator is important for virulence in both leukopenic mice and an alternative mini-host model of aspergillosis, as it was essential for the development of pulmonary aspergillosis and supported the systemic dissemination of the fungus. MetR action under sulphur-starving conditions is further required for proper iron regulation, which links regulation of sulphur metabolism to iron homeostasis and demonstrates an unprecedented regulatory crosstalk. Taken together, this study provides evidence that regulation of sulphur assimilation is not only crucial for A. fumigatus virulence but also affects the balance of iron in this prime opportunistic pathogen. PMID:24009505

  1. Aspergillus fumigatus diffusates suppress polymorphonuclear neutrophil phagocytic functions and respiratory burst levels in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation patients.

    PubMed

    Chen, X H; Deng, Y C; Zhong, B Y; Hao, F

    2015-08-10

    Invasive aspergillosis (IA) is a severe infection that commonly occurs in immunocompromised patients after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The present study explores the effect of Aspergillus fumigatus diffusates (AfDs) on phagocytic function and superoxide anion (O2(-)) burst levels in polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) from post-HSCT patients. A. fumigatus conidia with or without AfD were used to stimulate the PMN from healthy donor or HSCT patient for two hours. PMN morphology was visualized by scanning electron microscopy. The levels of respiratory burst O2(-) produced by the PMNs were determined by flow cytometry. PMN phagocytic rates and phagocytic indexes were observed and calculated using periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining under a light-field microscope. No difference was found between the PMN phagocytic rates, phagocytic indexes, or O2(-) respiratory burst levels in health donor PMNs following treatments of A. fumigatus conidia with or without AfD. However, significant inhibition of these indices was seen in the PMNs from HSCT patients following treatment of A. fumigatus conidia plus AfD, compared to that with conidium treatment alone (P < 0.05). Therefore, AfD significantly inhibited the phagocytic function of PMNs from HSCT patients, potentially through inhibition of intracellular respiratory burst levels during phagocytosis. This suggests that the reason underlying the greater susceptibility of HSCT patients to aspergillosis might be the existence of AfD in vivo during infection. Further research on the mechanisms by which AfD affects the phagocytic function of PMNs from HSCT patients is therefore of great significance for the prevention of IA.

  2. Regulation of sulphur assimilation is essential for virulence and affects iron homeostasis of the human-pathogenic mould Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Amich, Jorge; Schafferer, Lukas; Haas, Hubertus; Krappmann, Sven

    2013-01-01

    Sulphur is an essential element that all pathogens have to absorb from their surroundings in order to grow inside their infected host. Despite its importance, the relevance of sulphur assimilation in fungal virulence is largely unexplored. Here we report a role of the bZIP transcription factor MetR in sulphur assimilation and virulence of the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. The MetR regulator is essential for growth on a variety of sulphur sources; remarkably, it is fundamental for assimilation of inorganic S-sources but dispensable for utilization of methionine. Accordingly, it strongly supports expression of genes directly related to inorganic sulphur assimilation but not of genes connected to methionine metabolism. On a broader scale, MetR orchestrates the comprehensive transcriptional adaptation to sulphur-starving conditions as demonstrated by digital gene expression analysis. Surprisingly, A. fumigatus is able to utilize volatile sulphur compounds produced by its methionine catabolism, a process that has not been described before and that is MetR-dependent. The A. fumigatus MetR transcriptional activator is important for virulence in both leukopenic mice and an alternative mini-host model of aspergillosis, as it was essential for the development of pulmonary aspergillosis and supported the systemic dissemination of the fungus. MetR action under sulphur-starving conditions is further required for proper iron regulation, which links regulation of sulphur metabolism to iron homeostasis and demonstrates an unprecedented regulatory crosstalk. Taken together, this study provides evidence that regulation of sulphur assimilation is not only crucial for A. fumigatus virulence but also affects the balance of iron in this prime opportunistic pathogen.

  3. Nonribosomal peptide synthetase genes pesL and pes1 are essential for Fumigaclavine C production in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    O'Hanlon, Karen A; Gallagher, Lorna; Schrettl, Markus; Jöchl, Christoph; Kavanagh, Kevin; Larsen, Thomas O; Doyle, Sean

    2012-05-01

    The identity of metabolites encoded by the majority of nonribosomal peptide synthetases in the opportunistic pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus, remains outstanding. We found that the nonribosomal peptide (NRP) synthetases PesL and Pes1 were essential for fumigaclavine C biosynthesis, the end product of the complex ergot alkaloid (EA) pathway in A. fumigatus. Deletion of either pesL (ΔpesL) or pes1 (Δpes1) resulted in complete loss of fumigaclavine C biosynthesis, relatively increased production of fumitremorgins such as TR-2, fumitremorgin C and verruculogen, increased sensitivity to H(2)O(2), and increased sensitivity to the antifungals, voriconazole, and amphotericin B. Deletion of pesL resulted in severely reduced virulence in an invertebrate infection model (P < 0.001). These findings indicate that NRP synthesis plays an essential role in mediating the final prenylation step of the EA pathway, despite the apparent absence of NRP synthetases in the proposed EA biosynthetic cluster for A. fumigatus. Liquid chromatography/diode array detection/mass spectrometry analysis also revealed the presence of fumiquinazolines A to F in both A. fumigatus wild-type and ΔpesL strains. This observation suggests that alternative NRP synthetases can also function in fumiquinazoline biosynthesis, since PesL has been shown to mediate fumiquinazoline biosynthesis in vitro. Furthermore, we provide here the first direct link between EA biosynthesis and virulence, in agreement with the observed toxicity associated with EA exposure. Finally, we demonstrate a possible cluster cross-talk phenomenon, a theme which is beginning to emerge in the literature. PMID:22344643

  4. Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetase Genes pesL and pes1 Are Essential for Fumigaclavine C Production in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    O'Hanlon, Karen A.; Gallagher, Lorna; Schrettl, Markus; Jöchl, Christoph; Kavanagh, Kevin; Larsen, Thomas O.

    2012-01-01

    The identity of metabolites encoded by the majority of nonribosomal peptide synthetases in the opportunistic pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus, remains outstanding. We found that the nonribosomal peptide (NRP) synthetases PesL and Pes1 were essential for fumigaclavine C biosynthesis, the end product of the complex ergot alkaloid (EA) pathway in A. fumigatus. Deletion of either pesL (ΔpesL) or pes1 (Δpes1) resulted in complete loss of fumigaclavine C biosynthesis, relatively increased production of fumitremorgins such as TR-2, fumitremorgin C and verruculogen, increased sensitivity to H2O2, and increased sensitivity to the antifungals, voriconazole, and amphotericin B. Deletion of pesL resulted in severely reduced virulence in an invertebrate infection model (P < 0.001). These findings indicate that NRP synthesis plays an essential role in mediating the final prenylation step of the EA pathway, despite the apparent absence of NRP synthetases in the proposed EA biosynthetic cluster for A. fumigatus. Liquid chromatography/diode array detection/mass spectrometry analysis also revealed the presence of fumiquinazolines A to F in both A. fumigatus wild-type and ΔpesL strains. This observation suggests that alternative NRP synthetases can also function in fumiquinazoline biosynthesis, since PesL has been shown to mediate fumiquinazoline biosynthesis in vitro. Furthermore, we provide here the first direct link between EA biosynthesis and virulence, in agreement with the observed toxicity associated with EA exposure. Finally, we demonstrate a possible cluster cross-talk phenomenon, a theme which is beginning to emerge in the literature. PMID:22344643

  5. Variation in copy number of the 28S rDNA of Aspergillus fumigatus measured by droplet digital PCR and analog quantitative real-time PCR.

    PubMed

    Alanio, Alexandre; Sturny-Leclère, Aude; Benabou, Marion; Guigue, Nicolas; Bretagne, Stéphane

    2016-08-01

    Droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) after DNA digestion yielded a 28S rDNA copy number of 61 to 86 copies/genome when testing 10 unrelated Aspergillus fumigatus isolates, higher than with quantitative PCR. Unfortunately, ddPCR after DNA digestion did not improve the sensitivity of our PCR assay when testing serum patients with invasive aspergillosis. PMID:27316653

  6. Effect of castanospermine on the structure and secretion of glycoprotein enzymes in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed Central

    Elbein, A D; Mitchell, M; Molyneux, R J

    1984-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus secretes a number of glycosidases into the culture medium when the cells are grown in a mineral salts medium containing guar flour (a galactomannan) as the carbon source. At least some of these glycosidases have been reported to be glycoproteins having N-linked oligosaccharides. In this study, we examined the effect of the glycoprotein processing inhibitor, castanospermine, on the structures of the N-linked oligosaccharides and on the secretion of various glycosidases. Cells were grown in the presence of various amounts of castanospermine; at different times of growth, samples of the media were removed for the measurement of enzymatic activity. Of the three glycosidases assayed, beta-hexosaminidase was most sensitive to castanospermine; and its activity was depressed 30 to 40% at 100 micrograms of alkaloid per ml and even more at higher alkaloid concentrations. On the other hand, beta-galactosidase activity was hardly diminished at castanospermine levels of up to 1 mg/ml, but significant inhibition was observed at 2 mg/ml. beta-Galactosidase was intermediate in sensitivity. Cells were grown in the presence or absence of castanospermine and labeled with [2-3H]mannose, [6-3H]glucosamine, or [1-3H]galactose to label the sugar portion of the glycoproteins. The secreted glycoproteins were digested with pronase to obtain glycopeptides, and these were identified on Bio-Gel P-4 (Bio-Rad Laboratories). The glycopeptides were then digested with endoglucosaminidase H to release the peptide portion of susceptible structures, and the released oligosaccharides were reisolated and identified on Bio-Gel P-4. The oligosaccharides from control and castanospermine-grown cells were identified by a combination of enzymatic and chemical studies. In control cells, the oligosaccharide appeared to be mostly Man8GlcNAc and Man9GlcNAc, whereas in the presence of alkaloid, the major structures were Glc3Man7GlcNAc and Glc3Man8GlcNAc. These data fit previous observations

  7. Effect of castanospermine on the structure and secretion of glycoprotein enzymes in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Elbein, A D; Mitchell, M; Molyneux, R J

    1984-10-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus secretes a number of glycosidases into the culture medium when the cells are grown in a mineral salts medium containing guar flour (a galactomannan) as the carbon source. At least some of these glycosidases have been reported to be glycoproteins having N-linked oligosaccharides. In this study, we examined the effect of the glycoprotein processing inhibitor, castanospermine, on the structures of the N-linked oligosaccharides and on the secretion of various glycosidases. Cells were grown in the presence of various amounts of castanospermine; at different times of growth, samples of the media were removed for the measurement of enzymatic activity. Of the three glycosidases assayed, beta-hexosaminidase was most sensitive to castanospermine; and its activity was depressed 30 to 40% at 100 micrograms of alkaloid per ml and even more at higher alkaloid concentrations. On the other hand, beta-galactosidase activity was hardly diminished at castanospermine levels of up to 1 mg/ml, but significant inhibition was observed at 2 mg/ml. beta-Galactosidase was intermediate in sensitivity. Cells were grown in the presence or absence of castanospermine and labeled with [2-3H]mannose, [6-3H]glucosamine, or [1-3H]galactose to label the sugar portion of the glycoproteins. The secreted glycoproteins were digested with pronase to obtain glycopeptides, and these were identified on Bio-Gel P-4 (Bio-Rad Laboratories). The glycopeptides were then digested with endoglucosaminidase H to release the peptide portion of susceptible structures, and the released oligosaccharides were reisolated and identified on Bio-Gel P-4. The oligosaccharides from control and castanospermine-grown cells were identified by a combination of enzymatic and chemical studies. In control cells, the oligosaccharide appeared to be mostly Man8GlcNAc and Man9GlcNAc, whereas in the presence of alkaloid, the major structures were Glc3Man7GlcNAc and Glc3Man8GlcNAc. These data fit previous observations

  8. Differential gene expression in Aspergillus fumigatus induced by human platelets in vitro.

    PubMed

    Perkhofer, Susanne; Zenzmaier, Christoph; Frealle, Emilie; Blatzer, Michael; Hackl, Hubert; Sartori, Bettina; Lass-Flörl, Cornelia

    2015-05-01

    Invasive aspergillosis is characterized by vascular invasion and thrombosis. In order to determine the antifungal activity of human platelets, hyphal elongation and metabolic activity of a clinical A. fumigatus isolate were measured. Genome-wide identification of differentially expressed genes in A. fumigatus was performed after exposure to platelets for 15, 30, 60 and 180 min. Data were analyzed by gene ontology annotation as well as functional categories (FunCat) and KEGG enrichment analyses. Platelets attenuated hyphal elongation and viability of A. fumigatus and in total 584 differentially expressed genes were identified, many of which were associated with regulation of biological processes, stress response, transport and metabolism. FunCat and KEGG enrichment analyses showed stress response and metabolic adaptation to be increased in response to platelets. Our findings demonstrate that A. fumigatus displayed a specific transcriptional response when exposed to platelets, thus reflecting their antifungal activities.

  9. Prevalence and mechanism of triazole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus in a referral chest hospital in Delhi, India and an update of the situation in Asia

    PubMed Central

    Chowdhary, Anuradha; Sharma, Cheshta; Kathuria, Shallu; Hagen, Ferry; Meis, Jacques F.

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus causes varied clinical syndromes ranging from colonization to deep infections. The mainstay of therapy of Aspergillus diseases is triazoles but several studies globally highlighted variable prevalence of triazole resistance, which hampers the management of aspergillosis. We studied the prevalence of resistance in clinical A. fumigatus isolates during 4 years in a referral Chest Hospital in Delhi, India and reviewed the scenario in Asia and the Middle East. Aspergillus species (n = 2117) were screened with selective plates for azole resistance. The isolates included 45.4% A. flavus, followed by 32.4% A. fumigatus, 15.6% Aspergillus species and 6.6% A. terreus. Azole resistance was found in only 12 (1.7%) A. fumigatus isolates. These triazole resistant A. fumigatus (TRAF) isolates were subjected to (a) calmodulin and β tubulin gene sequencing (b) in vitro antifungal susceptibility testing against triazoles using CLSI M38-A2 (c) sequencing of cyp51A gene and real-time PCR assay for detection of mutations and (d) microsatellite typing of the resistant isolates. TRAF harbored TR34/L98H mutation in 10 (83.3%) isolates with a pan-azole resistant phenotype. Among the remaining two TRAF isolates, one had G54E and the other had three non-synonymous point mutations. The majority of patients were diagnosed as invasive aspergillosis followed by allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis and chronic pulmonary aspergillosis. The Indian TR34/L98H isolates had a unique genotype and were distinct from the Chinese, Middle East, and European TR34/L98H strains. This resistance mechanism has been linked to the use of fungicide azoles in agricultural practices in Europe as it has been mainly reported from azole naïve patients. Reports published from Asia demonstrate the same environmental resistance mechanism in A. fumigatus isolates from two highly populated countries in Asia, i.e., China and India and also from the neighboring Middle East. PMID:26005442

  10. Adoptive immunity mediated by HLA-A*0201 restricted Asp f16 peptides-specific CD8+ T cells against Aspergillus fumigatus infection.

    PubMed

    Sun, Z; Zhu, P; Li, L; Wan, Z; Zhao, Z; Li, R

    2012-11-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) is the most common pathogen of invasive aspergillosis (IA), a life-threatening infection in immunocompromised patients. Recent findings revealed that CD8+ T cells can mediate cytotoxic activity against A. fumigatus. Here, we bioinformatically identified three HLA-A*0201-restricted peptides from Asp f16, an A. fumigatus antigen which was previously shown to be involved in T cell immunity. Our immunological results demonstrated that these peptides can potently induce cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response in CD8+ T cells, thus, damaging the conidia and hyphae of A. fumigatus. Moreover, the Asp f16 peptides can also raise Th1 cell-like response, as measured by interferon-γ (IFN-γ) enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISPOT). Furthermore, we established an invasive pulmonary aspergillosis model in HLA-A*0201 transgenic mice. Adoptive transfer of Asp f16 peptides-specific CTL significantly extended the overall survival time in the A. fumigatus-infected immunocompromised mice. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that the Asp f16 peptides might provide immunity against invasive A. fumigatus infection.

  11. In Vitro Interaction between Alginate Lyase and Amphotericin B against Aspergillus fumigatus Biofilm Determined by Different Methods

    PubMed Central

    Bugli, Francesca; Posteraro, Brunella; Papi, Massimiliano; Torelli, Riccardo; Maiorana, Alessandro; Paroni Sterbini, Francesco; Posteraro, Patrizia; De Spirito, Marco

    2013-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus biofilms represent a problematic clinical entity, especially because of their recalcitrance to antifungal drugs, which poses a number of therapeutic implications for invasive aspergillosis, the most difficult-to-treat Aspergillus-related disease. While the antibiofilm activities of amphotericin B (AMB) deoxycholate and its lipid formulations (e.g., liposomal AMB [LAMB]) are well documented, the effectiveness of these drugs in combination with nonantifungal agents is poorly understood. In the present study, in vitro interactions between polyene antifungals (AMB and LAMB) and alginate lyase (AlgL), an enzyme degrading the polysaccharides produced as extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs) within the biofilm matrix, against A. fumigatus biofilms were evaluated by using the checkerboard microdilution and the time-kill assays. Furthermore, atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to image and quantify the effects of AlgL-antifungal combinations on biofilm-growing hyphal cells. On the basis of fractional inhibitory concentration index values, synergy was found between both AMB formulations and AlgL, and this finding was also confirmed by the time-kill test. Finally, AFM analysis showed that when A. fumigatus biofilms were treated with AlgL or polyene alone, as well as with their combination, both a reduction of hyphal thicknesses and an increase of adhesive forces were observed compared to the findings for untreated controls, probably owing to the different action by the enzyme or the antifungal compounds. Interestingly, marked physical changes were noticed in A. fumigatus biofilms exposed to the AlgL-antifungal combinations compared with the physical characteristics detected after exposure to the antifungals alone, indicating that AlgL may enhance the antibiofilm activity of both AMB and LAMB, perhaps by disrupting the hypha-embedding EPSs and thus facilitating the drugs to reach biofilm cells. Taken together, our results suggest that a combination

  12. Comprehensive annotation of secondary metabolite biosynthetic genes and gene clusters of Aspergillus nidulans, A. fumigatus, A. niger and A. oryzae

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Secondary metabolite production, a hallmark of filamentous fungi, is an expanding area of research for the Aspergilli. These compounds are potent chemicals, ranging from deadly toxins to therapeutic antibiotics to potential anti-cancer drugs. The genome sequences for multiple Aspergilli have been determined, and provide a wealth of predictive information about secondary metabolite production. Sequence analysis and gene overexpression strategies have enabled the discovery of novel secondary metabolites and the genes involved in their biosynthesis. The Aspergillus Genome Database (AspGD) provides a central repository for gene annotation and protein information for Aspergillus species. These annotations include Gene Ontology (GO) terms, phenotype data, gene names and descriptions and they are crucial for interpreting both small- and large-scale data and for aiding in the design of new experiments that further Aspergillus research. Results We have manually curated Biological Process GO annotations for all genes in AspGD with recorded functions in secondary metabolite production, adding new GO terms that specifically describe each secondary metabolite. We then leveraged these new annotations to predict roles in secondary metabolism for genes lacking experimental characterization. As a starting point for manually annotating Aspergillus secondary metabolite gene clusters, we used antiSMASH (antibiotics and Secondary Metabolite Analysis SHell) and SMURF (Secondary Metabolite Unknown Regions Finder) algorithms to identify potential clusters in A. nidulans, A. fumigatus, A. niger and A. oryzae, which we subsequently refined through manual curation. Conclusions This set of 266 manually curated secondary metabolite gene clusters will facilitate the investigation of novel Aspergillus secondary metabolites. PMID:23617571

  13. Influence of Human Sera on the In Vitro Activity of the Echinocandin Caspofungin (MK-0991) against Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Chiller, Tom; Farrokhshad, Kouros; Brummer, Elmer; Stevens, David A.

    2000-01-01

    There have been several reports that the activity of echinocandin antifungal agents is not affected or decreased in the presence of human sera. It is known that these drugs are bound >80% in animal and human sera. The activity of the echinocandin caspofungin (MK-0991), a 1,3-β-d-glucan synthase inhibitor, against Aspergillus fumigatus with and without human sera was studied. Conidia of A. fumigatus in microtest plate wells formed germlings after overnight culture in RPMI 1640. Caspofungin was then added with or without serum, and the germlings were incubated at 37°C for 24 h. Human serum (5%) in RPMI 1640 alone did not significantly inhibit the growth of A. fumigatus in vitro. Caspofungin in RPMI 1640 exhibited dose-dependent inhibition, with concentrations of 0.1 and 0.05 μg/ml inhibiting 24.9% +/− 10.4% and 11.7% +/− 3.6%, respectively (n = 10; P < 0.01). The addition of 5% human serum to caspofungin at 0.1 or 0.05 μg/ml increased the inhibition to 78.6% +/− 5.8% or 58.3% +/− 19.2%, respectively (n = 10; P < 0.01 versus controls and versus the drug without serum). Lower concentrations of serum also potentiated drug activity. The effect of human sera was further seen when using caspofungin that had lost activity (e.g., by storage) against A. fumigatus at 0.1 μg/ml. Inactive caspofungin alone demonstrated no significant inhibition of hyphal growth, whereas the addition of 5% human serum to the inactive drug showed 83% +/− 16.5% inhibition (n = 5; P < 0.01). The restoration of activity of caspofungin was seen at concentrations as low as 0.05% human serum. In contrast to prior reports, this study suggests that human serum acts synergistically with caspofungin to enhance its inhibitory activity in vitro against A. fumigatus. PMID:11083631

  14. The Potential Inhibitory Effect of Cuminum Cyminum, Ziziphora Clinopodioides and Nigella Sativa Essential Oils on the Growth of Aspergillus Fumigatus and Aspergillus

    PubMed Central

    Khosravi, A.R.; Minooeianhaghighi, M.H.; Shokri, H.; Emami, S.A.; S.M., Alavi; Asili, J.

    2011-01-01

    The goals of this study were to evaluate the effectiveness of Cuminum cyminum, Ziziphora clinopodioides and Nigella sativa essential oils to inhibit the growth of Aspergillus fumigatus and A. flavus and to evoke ultrastructural changes. The fungi were cultured into RPMI 1640 media in the presence of oils at concentrations of 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.5, 1.25, 1, 0.75 and 0.5 mg/ml in broth microdilution and 2, 1.5, 1 and 0.5 mg/ml in broth macrodilution methods with shaking for 48 h at 28oC. Conidial and mycelial samples exposed to 0.25, 0.5, 1, 1.5 and 2 mg essential oils/ml for 5 days in 2% yeast extract granulated plus 15% Saccharose media were processed for transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Based on broth dilution methods, C. cyminum and to a lesser extent Z. clinopodioides oils exhibited the strongest activity against A. fumigatus and A. flavus with MIC90 ranging from 0.25 to 1.5 mg/ml, while the oil from N. sativa exhibited relatively moderate activity against two above fungi with MIC90 ranging from 1.5 to 2 mg/ml. The main changes observed by TEM were in the cell wall, plasma membrane and membranous organelles; in particular, in the nuclei and mitochondria. These modifications in fungal structure were associated with the interference of the essential oils with the enzymes responsible for cell wall synthesis, which disturbed normal growth. Moreover, the essential oils caused high vacuolation of the cytoplasm, detachment of fibrillar layer of cell wall, plasma membrane disruption and disorganization of the nuclear and mitochondrial structures. Aspergillus fumigatus and A. flavus growth inhibition induced by these oils were found to be well-correlated with subsequent morphological changes of the fungi exposed to different fungistatic concentrations of the oils. Our results show the anti-Aspergillus activities of C. cyminum, Z. clinopodioides and N. sativa essential oils, which strengthens the potential use of these substances as anti-mould in the future. PMID

  15. Hypoxia-inducible factor 1α modulates metabolic activity and cytokine release in anti-Aspergillus fumigatus immune responses initiated by human dendritic cells.

    PubMed

    Fliesser, Mirjam; Morton, Charles Oliver; Bonin, Michael; Ebel, Frank; Hünniger, Kerstin; Kurzai, Oliver; Einsele, Hermann; Löffler, Jürgen

    2015-12-01

    The mold Aspergillus fumigatus causes life-threatening infections in immunocompromised patients. Over the past decade, new findings in research have improved our understanding of A. fumigatus-host interactions, including the recent identification of myeloid-expressed hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) as a relevant immune-modulating transcription factor and potential therapeutic target in anti-fungal defense. However, the function of HIF-1α signaling for human anti-A. fumigatus immunity is still poorly understood, including its role in dendritic cells (DCs), which are important regulators of anti-fungal immunity. This study investigated the functional relevance of HIF-1α in the anti-A. fumigatus immune response initiated by human DCs. Hypoxic cell culture conditions were included because hypoxic microenvironments occur during A. fumigatus infections and may influence the host immune response. HIF-1α was stabilized in DCs following stimulation with A. fumigatus under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. This stabilization was partially dependent on dectin-1, the major receptor for A. fumigatus on human DCs. Using siRNA-based HIF-1α silencing combined with genome-wide transcriptional analysis, a modulatory effect of HIF-1α on the anti-fungal immune response of human DCs was identified. Specifically, the difference in the transcriptomes of HIF-1α silenced and non-silenced DCs indicated that HIF-1α contributes to DC metabolism and cytokine release in response to A. fumigatus under normoxic as well as hypoxic conditions. This was confirmed by further down-stream analyses that included metabolite analysis and cytokine profiling of a time-course infection experiment. Thereby, this study revealed a so far undescribed functional relevance of HIF-1α in human DC responses against A. fumigatus.

  16. Production of tremorgenic mycotoxins by isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus from sawmills in Sweden.

    PubMed

    Land, C J; Lundström, H; Werner, S

    1993-11-01

    One hundred and six strains of A. fumigatus were isolated from 21 sawmills in Sweden, and 73 of these strains were examined for production of fumitremorgen B and verruculogen (tremorgenic mycotoxins) on YES-medium using thin layer chromatography (TLC). Twenty-three strains (32%) were tremorgen producers and 50 strains (68%) were non-producers. Tremorgenic mycotoxins were detected in conidia of seven A. fumigatus strains. The amount of toxin varied between 0.6-8.0 microgram/10(8) conidia (mean value 2.3 micrograms/10(8) conidia, equivalent with 0.18%). No production of the mycotoxin gliotoxin was detected in 6 strains of A. fumigatus. No tremorgens were detected during mould growth on wood substrates, in spite of the use of different wood species (Scots pine, Pinus sylvestris: Norway spruce, Picea abies and birch, Betula spp.), dried versus non-dried wood, bark (pine), leached wood, and wood after various sterilization methods. PMID:8008045

  17. Different Stress-Induced Calcium Signatures Are Reported by Aequorin-Mediated Calcium Measurements in Living Cells of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Bettgenhaeuser, Jan; Iakobachvili, Nino; Bignell, Elaine M.; Read, Nick D.

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an inhaled fungal pathogen of human lungs, the developmental growth of which is reliant upon Ca2+-mediated signalling. Ca2+ signalling has regulatory significance in all eukaryotic cells but how A. fumigatus uses intracellular Ca2+ signals to respond to stresses imposed by the mammalian lung is poorly understood. In this work, A. fumigatus strains derived from the clinical isolate CEA10, and a non-homologous recombination mutant ΔakuBKU80, were engineered to express the bioluminescent Ca2+-reporter aequorin. An aequorin-mediated method for routine Ca2+ measurements during the early stages of colony initiation was successfully developed and dynamic changes in cytosolic free calcium ([Ca2+]c) in response to extracellular stimuli were measured. The response to extracellular challenges (hypo- and hyper-osmotic shock, mechanical perturbation, high extracellular Ca2+, oxidative stress or exposure to human serum) that the fungus might be exposed to during infection, were analysed in living conidial germlings. The ‘signatures’ of the transient [Ca2+]c responses to extracellular stimuli were found to be dose- and age-dependent. Moreover, Ca2+-signatures associated with each physico-chemical treatment were found to be unique, suggesting the involvement of heterogeneous combinations of Ca2+-signalling components in each stress response. Concordant with the involvement of Ca2+-calmodulin complexes in these Ca2+-mediated responses, the calmodulin inhibitor trifluoperazine (TFP) induced changes in the Ca2+-signatures to all the challenges. The Ca2+-chelator BAPTA potently inhibited the initial responses to most stressors in accordance with a critical role for extracellular Ca2+ in initiating the stress responses. PMID:26402916

  18. The Fumagillin Gene Cluster, an Example of Hundreds of Genes under veA Control in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Dhingra, Sourabh; Lind, Abigail L.; Lin, Hsiao-Ching; Tang, Yi; Rokas, Antonis; Calvo, Ana M.

    2013-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the causative agent of invasive aspergillosis, leading to infection-related mortality in immunocompromised patients. We previously showed that the conserved and unique-to-fungi veA gene affects different cell processes such as morphological development, gliotoxin biosynthesis and protease activity, suggesting a global regulatory effect on the genome of this medically relevant fungus. In this study, RNA sequencing analysis revealed that veA controls the expression of hundreds of genes in A. fumigatus, including those comprising more than a dozen known secondary metabolite gene clusters. Chemical analysis confirmed that veA controls the synthesis of other secondary metabolites in this organism in addition to gliotoxin. Among the secondary metabolite gene clusters regulated by veA is the elusive but recently identified gene cluster responsible for the biosynthesis of fumagillin, a meroterpenoid known for its anti-angiogenic activity by binding to human methionine aminopeptidase 2. The fumagillin gene cluster contains a veA-dependent regulatory gene, fumR (Afu8g00420), encoding a putative C6 type transcription factor. Deletion of fumR results in silencing of the gene cluster and elimination of fumagillin biosynthesis. We found expression of fumR to also be dependent on laeA, a gene encoding another component of the fungal velvet complex. The results in this study argue that veA is a global regulator of secondary metabolism in A. fumigatus, and that veA may be a conduit via which chemical development is coupled to morphological development and other cellular processes. PMID:24116213

  19. Influence of essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis on the chemical composition of the walls of Aspergillus fumigatus (Fresenius).

    PubMed

    Ghfir, B; Fonvieille, J L; Dargent, R

    1997-07-01

    The cell walls of the growing hyphae of Aspergillus fumigatus (Fresenius) cultured in the presence or absence of the essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis were isolated and their chemical composition analysed. The presence of the essential oil led to a reduction in levels of neutral sugars, uronic acid and proteins, whereas amino sugars, lipids and phosphorus levels were increased. HPLC analysis of the neutral sugars showed that they consisted mainly of glucose, mannose and galactose, while the amino sugars consisted of glucosamine and galactosamine. The presence of the essential oil in the culture medium induced marked changes in the content of galactose and galactosamine. Cell walls were fractionated by treatment with alkali and acid. The essential oil induced similar alterations in the various fractions with a more marked effect on the major constituents. The alterations were related to changes in the structure of the cells.

  20. A Fluorescence-Based High-Throughput Screening Assay to Identify Growth Inhibitors of the Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Smith, Thomas M; Richie, Daryl L; Tao, Jianshi

    2016-01-01

    Due to the advancements in modern medicine that have resulted in an increased number of immunocompromised individuals, the incidences and the associated mortality of invasive aspergillosis have continued to rise over the past three decades despite appropriate treatment. As a result, invasive aspergillosis has emerged as a leading cause of infection-related mortality in immunocompromised individuals. Utilizing the resazurin to resorufin conversion fluorescence readout to monitor cell viability, herein, we outline a high-throughput screening method amenable to profiling a large pharmaceutical library against the clinically relevant but less frequently screened fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. This enables the user to conduct high-throughput screening using a disease-relevant fungal growth assay and identify novel antifungal chemotypes as drug leads. PMID:27316995

  1. Influence of essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis on the chemical composition of the walls of Aspergillus fumigatus (Fresenius).

    PubMed

    Ghfir, B; Fonvieille, J L; Dargent, R

    1997-07-01

    The cell walls of the growing hyphae of Aspergillus fumigatus (Fresenius) cultured in the presence or absence of the essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis were isolated and their chemical composition analysed. The presence of the essential oil led to a reduction in levels of neutral sugars, uronic acid and proteins, whereas amino sugars, lipids and phosphorus levels were increased. HPLC analysis of the neutral sugars showed that they consisted mainly of glucose, mannose and galactose, while the amino sugars consisted of glucosamine and galactosamine. The presence of the essential oil in the culture medium induced marked changes in the content of galactose and galactosamine. Cell walls were fractionated by treatment with alkali and acid. The essential oil induced similar alterations in the various fractions with a more marked effect on the major constituents. The alterations were related to changes in the structure of the cells. PMID:16333566

  2. Comparisons between cellulase production by Aspergillus fumigatus in agitated vessels and in an air-lift fermentor

    SciTech Connect

    Wase, D.A.J.; McManamey, W.J.; Raymahasay, S.; Vaid, A.K.

    1985-08-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus was cultured in disc-turbine-agitated vessels and in an air-lift fermentor. In the agitated vessels the yield of cellulase was reduced when the agitation rate was increased, although extracellular protein levels rose. The enzyme complex itself was shown to be exceptionally stable under conditions similar to those in the agitated vessels, so probably shear damage to the mycelium had occurred, liberating intracellular contents. These appeared to contain an inhibitor that could be removed by fabricated inorganic protein absorbents, such as kieselguhr and alumina. However, the inhibitor was not likely to be protease, since only relatively low levels could be detected and its identity has not been established. The use of an air-lift fermentor avoided the shear effects due to use of the disc turbine agitator in the conventional fermentors, and yields of enzyme were then found to increase by about 20%, maximum yields being obtained at maximum Kla values.

  3. Enhanced production of fumigaclavine C by ultrasound stimulation in a two-stage culture of Aspergillus fumigatus CY018.

    PubMed

    Yao, Ling-Yun; Zhu, Yi-Xiang; Jiao, Rui-Hua; Lu, Yan-Hua; Tan, Ren-Xiang

    2014-05-01

    Stimulation by physical means including ultrasound is important to cell morphology and the product yield. In this work, the effect of ultrasound on the production of fumigaclavine C (FC), a conidiation-associated alkaloid with strong anti-inflammatory activity, was investigated in a newly developed two-stage culture of Aspergillus fumigatus CY018. The optimum ultrasonication conditions consisted of exposing cultures (at 12h of growth phase) to 10-min repeated irradiation (4 times) with a 24-h interval at the fixed power (500 W). Under this condition, FC production reached 118.09 mg/L, which was 89% higher than the control and much higher than previous reported values. Morphological analysis demonstrated that mycelia morphology from ultrasonication was in the form smaller and looser pellets as compared to that of the control. In addition, conidia that is closely related to FC biosynthesis were significantly increased after ultrasound stimulation, with 3 folds of that from the control. PMID:24632633

  4. Surface structure characterization of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia mutated in the melanin synthesis pathway and their human cellular immune response.

    PubMed

    Bayry, Jagadeesh; Beaussart, Audrey; Dufrêne, Yves F; Sharma, Meenu; Bansal, Kushagra; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Aimanianda, Vishukumar; Brakhage, Axel A; Kaveri, Srini V; Kwon-Chung, Kyung J; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Beauvais, Anne

    2014-08-01

    In Aspergillus fumigatus, the conidial surface contains dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin. Six-clustered gene products have been identified that mediate sequential catalysis of DHN-melanin biosynthesis. Melanin thus produced is known to be a virulence factor, protecting the fungus from the host defense mechanisms. In the present study, individual deletion of the genes involved in the initial three steps of melanin biosynthesis resulted in an altered conidial surface with masked surface rodlet layer, leaky cell wall allowing the deposition of proteins on the cell surface and exposing the otherwise-masked cell wall polysaccharides at the surface. Melanin as such was immunologically inert; however, deletion mutant conidia with modified surfaces could activate human dendritic cells and the subsequent cytokine production in contrast to the wild-type conidia. Cell surface defects were rectified in the conidia mutated in downstream melanin biosynthetic pathway, and maximum immune inertness was observed upon synthesis of vermelone onward. These observations suggest that although melanin as such is an immunologically inert material, it confers virulence by facilitating proper formation of the A. fumigatus conidial surface.

  5. Deletion of the msdS/AfmsdC gene induces abnormal polarity and septation in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Li, Yanjie; Zhang, Lei; Wang, Depeng; Zhou, Hui; Ouyang, Haomiao; Ming, Jia; Jin, Cheng

    2008-07-01

    alpha-Mannosidases play an important role in the processing of mannose-containing glycans in eukaryotes. A deficiency in alpha-mannosidase is lethal in humans and cattle. In contrast to mammals, Saccharomyces cerevisiae does not require the endoplasmic reticulum alpha-mannosidase gene for growth. However, little is known of the consequence of loss of function of class I alpha-mannosidases in filamentous fungi. In this study, the msdS/AfmsdC gene was identified to encode 1,2-alpha-mannosidase MsdS in Aspergillus fumigatus. Soluble MsdS expressed in Escherichia coli was characterized as a typical class I alpha-mannosidase. The msdS gene was deleted by replacement of the msdS gene with a pyrG gene. Although the mutant showed a defect in N-glycan processing, as well as a reduction of cell wall components and a reduced ability of conidiation, it appeared that the rate of hyphal growth was not affected. Morphology analysis revealed abnormal polarity and septation at the stages of germination, hyphal growth and conidiation. Although the mechanism by which the N-glycan processing affects polarity and septation is unclear, our results show that msdS is involved in polarity and septation in A. fumigatus. PMID:18599824

  6. The Crystal Structure of Peroxiredoxin Asp f3 Provides Mechanistic Insight into Oxidative Stress Resistance and Virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Hillmann, Falk; Bagramyan, Karine; Straßburger, Maria; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Hong, Teresa B; Bzymek, Krzysztof P; Williams, John C; Brakhage, Axel A; Kalkum, Markus

    2016-01-01

    Invasive aspergillosis and other fungal infections occur in immunocompromised individuals, including patients who received blood-building stem cell transplants, patients with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), and others. Production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by immune cells, which incidentally is defective in CGD patients, is considered to be a fundamental process in inflammation and antifungal immune response. Here we show that the peroxiredoxin Asp f3 of Aspergillus fumigatus inactivates ROS. We report the crystal structure and the catalytic mechanism of Asp f3, a two-cysteine type peroxiredoxin. The latter exhibits a thioredoxin fold and a homodimeric structure with two intermolecular disulfide bonds in its oxidized state. Replacement of the Asp f3 cysteines with serine residues retained its dimeric structure, but diminished Asp f3's peroxidase activity, and extended the alpha-helix with the former peroxidatic cysteine residue C61 by six residues. The asp f3 deletion mutant was sensitive to ROS, and this phenotype was rescued by ectopic expression of Asp f3. Furthermore, we showed that deletion of asp f3 rendered A. fumigatus avirulent in a mouse model of pulmonary aspergillosis. The conserved expression of Asp f3 homologs in medically relevant molds and yeasts prompts future evaluation of Asp f3 as a potential therapeutic target. PMID:27624005

  7. The Crystal Structure of Peroxiredoxin Asp f3 Provides Mechanistic Insight into Oxidative Stress Resistance and Virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Hillmann, Falk; Bagramyan, Karine; Straßburger, Maria; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Hong, Teresa B.; Bzymek, Krzysztof P.; Williams, John C.; Brakhage, Axel A.; Kalkum, Markus

    2016-01-01

    Invasive aspergillosis and other fungal infections occur in immunocompromised individuals, including patients who received blood-building stem cell transplants, patients with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), and others. Production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by immune cells, which incidentally is defective in CGD patients, is considered to be a fundamental process in inflammation and antifungal immune response. Here we show that the peroxiredoxin Asp f3 of Aspergillus fumigatus inactivates ROS. We report the crystal structure and the catalytic mechanism of Asp f3, a two-cysteine type peroxiredoxin. The latter exhibits a thioredoxin fold and a homodimeric structure with two intermolecular disulfide bonds in its oxidized state. Replacement of the Asp f3 cysteines with serine residues retained its dimeric structure, but diminished Asp f3’s peroxidase activity, and extended the alpha-helix with the former peroxidatic cysteine residue C61 by six residues. The asp f3 deletion mutant was sensitive to ROS, and this phenotype was rescued by ectopic expression of Asp f3. Furthermore, we showed that deletion of asp f3 rendered A. fumigatus avirulent in a mouse model of pulmonary aspergillosis. The conserved expression of Asp f3 homologs in medically relevant molds and yeasts prompts future evaluation of Asp f3 as a potential therapeutic target. PMID:27624005

  8. The Crystal Structure of Peroxiredoxin Asp f3 Provides Mechanistic Insight into Oxidative Stress Resistance and Virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Hillmann, Falk; Bagramyan, Karine; Straßburger, Maria; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Hong, Teresa B; Bzymek, Krzysztof P; Williams, John C; Brakhage, Axel A; Kalkum, Markus

    2016-09-14

    Invasive aspergillosis and other fungal infections occur in immunocompromised individuals, including patients who received blood-building stem cell transplants, patients with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), and others. Production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by immune cells, which incidentally is defective in CGD patients, is considered to be a fundamental process in inflammation and antifungal immune response. Here we show that the peroxiredoxin Asp f3 of Aspergillus fumigatus inactivates ROS. We report the crystal structure and the catalytic mechanism of Asp f3, a two-cysteine type peroxiredoxin. The latter exhibits a thioredoxin fold and a homodimeric structure with two intermolecular disulfide bonds in its oxidized state. Replacement of the Asp f3 cysteines with serine residues retained its dimeric structure, but diminished Asp f3's peroxidase activity, and extended the alpha-helix with the former peroxidatic cysteine residue C61 by six residues. The asp f3 deletion mutant was sensitive to ROS, and this phenotype was rescued by ectopic expression of Asp f3. Furthermore, we showed that deletion of asp f3 rendered A. fumigatus avirulent in a mouse model of pulmonary aspergillosis. The conserved expression of Asp f3 homologs in medically relevant molds and yeasts prompts future evaluation of Asp f3 as a potential therapeutic target.

  9. Endoplasmic reticulum localized PerA is required for cell wall integrity, azole drug resistance, and virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Dawoon; Thammahong, Arsa; Shepardson, Kelly M.; Blosser, Sara J.; Cramer, Robert A.

    2014-01-01

    Summary GPI-anchoring is a universal and critical post-translational protein modification in eukaryotes. In fungi, many cell wall proteins are GPI-anchored, and disruption of GPI-anchored proteins impairs cell wall integrity. After being synthesized and attached to target proteins, GPI anchors undergo modification on lipid moieties. In spite of its importance for GPI-anchored protein functions, our current knowledge of GPI lipid remodeling in pathogenic fungi is limited. In this study, we characterized the role of a putative GPI lipid remodeling protein, designated PerA, in the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. PerA localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum and loss of PerA leads to striking defects in cell wall integrity. A perA null mutant has decreased conidia production, increased susceptibility to triazole antifungal drugs, and is avirulent in a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Interestingly, loss of PerA increases exposure of β-glucan and chitin content on the hyphal cell surface, but diminished TNF production by bone marrow derived macrophages relative to wild type. Given the structural specificity of fungal GPI-anchors, which is different from humans, understanding GPI lipid remodeling and PerA function in A. fumigatus is a promising research direction to uncover a new fungal specific antifungal drug target. PMID:24779420

  10. Recognition of Aspergillus fumigatus Hyphae by Human Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells Is Mediated by Dectin-2 and Results in Formation of Extracellular Traps

    PubMed Central

    Loures, Flávio V.; Röhm, Marc; Lee, Chrono K.; Santos, Evelyn; Wang, Jennifer P.; Specht, Charles A.; Calich, Vera L. G.; Urban, Constantin F.; Levitz, Stuart M.

    2015-01-01

    Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) were initially considered as critical for innate immunity to viruses. However, our group has shown that pDCs bind to and inhibit the growth of Aspergillus fumigatus hyphae and that depletion of pDCs renders mice hypersusceptible to experimental aspergillosis. In this study, we examined pDC receptors contributing to hyphal recognition and downstream events in pDCs stimulated by A. fumigatus hyphae. Our data show that Dectin-2, but not Dectin-1, participates in A. fumigatus hyphal recognition, TNF-α and IFN-α release, and antifungal activity. Moreover, Dectin-2 acts in cooperation with the FcRγ chain to trigger signaling responses. In addition, using confocal and electron microscopy we demonstrated that the interaction between pDCs and A. fumigatus induced the formation of pDC extracellular traps (pETs) containing DNA and citrullinated histone H3. These structures closely resembled those of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). The microarray analysis of the pDC transcriptome upon A. fumigatus infection also demonstrated up-regulated expression of genes associated with apoptosis as well as type I interferon-induced genes. Thus, human pDCs directly recognize A. fumigatus hyphae via Dectin-2; this interaction results in cytokine release and antifungal activity. Moreover, hyphal stimulation of pDCs triggers a distinct pattern of pDC gene expression and leads to pET formation. PMID:25659141

  11. Expression, Purification, and Characterization of Aspergillus fumigatus Sterol 14-α Demethylase (CYP51) Isoenzymes A and B▿

    PubMed Central

    Warrilow, Andrew G. S.; Melo, Nadja; Martel, Claire M.; Parker, Josie E.; Nes, W. David; Kelly, Steven L.; Kelly, Diane E.

    2010-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus sterol 14-α demethylase (CYP51) isoenzymes A (AF51A) and B (AF51B) were expressed in Escherichia coli and purified. The dithionite-reduced CO-P450 complex for AF51A was unstable, rapidly denaturing to inactive P420, in marked contrast to AF51B, where the CO-P450 complex was stable. Type I substrate binding spectra were obtained with purified AF51B using lanosterol (Ks, 8.6 μM) and eburicol (Ks, 22.6 μM). Membrane suspensions of AF51A bound to both lanosterol (Ks, 3.1 μM) and eburicol (Ks, 4.1 μM). The binding of azoles, with the exception of fluconazole, to AF51B was tight, with the Kd (dissociation constant) values for clotrimazole, itraconazole, posaconazole, and voriconazole being 0.21, 0.06, 0.12, and 0.42 μM, respectively, in comparison with a Kd value of 4 μM for fluconazole. Characteristic type II azole binding spectra were obtained with AF51B, whereas an additional trough and a blue-shifted spectral peak were present in AF51A binding spectra for all azoles except clotrimazole. This suggests two distinct azole binding conformations within the heme prosthetic group of AF51A. All five azoles bound relatively weakly to AF51A, with Kd values ranging from 1 μM for itraconazole to 11.9 μM for fluconazole. The azole binding properties of purified AF51A and AF51B suggest an explanation for the intrinsic azole (fluconazole) resistance observed in Aspergillus fumigatus. PMID:20660663

  12. Methylcitrate synthase from Aspergillus fumigatus. Propionyl-CoA affects polyketide synthesis, growth and morphology of conidia.

    PubMed

    Maerker, Claudia; Rohde, Manfred; Brakhage, Axel A; Brock, Matthias

    2005-07-01

    Methylcitrate synthase is a key enzyme of the methylcitrate cycle and required for fungal propionate degradation. Propionate not only serves as a carbon source, but also acts as a food preservative (E280-283) and possesses a negative effect on polyketide synthesis. To investigate propionate metabolism from the opportunistic human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, methylcitrate synthase was purified to homogeneity and characterized. The purified enzyme displayed both, citrate and methylcitrate synthase activity and showed similar characteristics to the corresponding enzyme from Aspergillus nidulans. The coding region of the A. fumigatus enzyme was identified and a deletion strain was constructed for phenotypic analysis. The deletion resulted in an inability to grow on propionate as the sole carbon source. A strong reduction of growth rate and spore colour formation on media containing both, glucose and propionate was observed, which was coincident with an accumulation of propionyl-CoA. Similarly, the use of valine, isoleucine and methionine as nitrogen sources, which yield propionyl-CoA upon degradation, inhibited growth and polyketide production. These effects are due to a direct inhibition of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex and blockage of polyketide synthesis by propionyl-CoA. The surface of conidia was studied by electron scanning microscopy and revealed a correlation between spore colour and ornamentation of the conidial surface. In addition, a methylcitrate synthase deletion led to an attenuation of virulence, when tested in an insect infection model and attenuation was even more pronounced, when whitish conidia from glucose/propionate medium were applied. Therefore, an impact of methylcitrate synthase in the infection process is discussed.

  13. Development stage-specific proteomic profiling uncovers small, lineage specific proteins most abundant in the Aspergillus Fumigatus conidial proteome

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus is the most frequent infectious cause of death in severely immunocompromised individuals such as leukemia and bone marrow transplant patients. Germination of inhaled conidia (asexual spores) in the host is critical for the initiation of infection, but little is known about the underlying mechanisms of this process. Results To gain insights into early germination events and facilitate the identification of potential stage-specific biomarkers and vaccine candidates, we have used quantitative shotgun proteomics to elucidate patterns of protein abundance changes during early fungal development. Four different stages were examined: dormant conidia, isotropically expanding conidia, hyphae in which germ tube emergence has just begun, and pre-septation hyphae. To enrich for glycan-linked cell wall proteins we used an alkaline cell extraction method. Shotgun proteomic resulted in the identification of 375 unique gene products with high confidence, with no evidence for enrichment of cell wall-immobilized and secreted proteins. The most interesting discovery was the identification of 52 proteins enriched in dormant conidia including 28 proteins that have never been detected in the A. fumigatus conidial proteome such as signaling protein Pil1, chaperones BipA and calnexin, and transcription factor HapB. Additionally we found many small, Aspergillus specific proteins of unknown function including 17 hypothetical proteins. Thus, the most abundant protein, Grg1 (AFUA_5G14210), was also one of the smallest proteins detected in this study (M.W. 7,367). Among previously characterized proteins were melanin pigment and pseurotin A biosynthesis enzymes, histones H3 and H4.1, and other proteins involved in conidiation and response to oxidative or hypoxic stress. In contrast, expanding conidia, hyphae with early germ tubes, and pre-septation hyphae samples were enriched for proteins responsible for housekeeping functions, particularly

  14. Short Interspersed Nuclear Element (SINE) Sequences in the Genome of the Human Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus Af293

    PubMed Central

    Kanhayuwa, Lakkhana; Coutts, Robert H. A.

    2016-01-01

    Novel families of short interspersed nuclear element (SINE) sequences in the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, clinical isolate Af293, were identified and categorised into tRNA-related and 5S rRNA-related SINEs. Eight predicted tRNA-related SINE families originating from different tRNAs, and nominated as AfuSINE2 sequences, contained target site duplications of short direct repeat sequences (4–14 bp) flanking the elements, an extended tRNA-unrelated region and typical features of RNA polymerase III promoter sequences. The elements ranged in size from 140–493 bp and were present in low copy number in the genome and five out of eight were actively transcribed. One putative tRNAArg-derived sequence, AfuSINE2-1a possessed a unique feature of repeated trinucleotide ACT residues at its 3’-terminus. This element was similar in sequence to the I-4_AO element found in A. oryzae and an I-1_AF long nuclear interspersed element-like sequence identified in A. fumigatus Af293. Families of 5S rRNA-related SINE sequences, nominated as AfuSINE3, were also identified and their 5'-5S rRNA-related regions show 50–65% and 60–75% similarity to respectively A. fumigatus 5S rRNAs and SINE3-1_AO found in A. oryzae. A. fumigatus Af293 contains five copies of AfuSINE3 sequences ranging in size from 259–343 bp and two out of five AfuSINE3 sequences were actively transcribed. Investigations on AfuSINE distribution in the fungal genome revealed that the elements are enriched in pericentromeric and subtelomeric regions and inserted within gene-rich regions. We also demonstrated that some, but not all, AfuSINE sequences are targeted by host RNA silencing mechanisms. Finally, we demonstrated that infection of the fungus with mycoviruses had no apparent effects on SINE activity. PMID:27736869

  15. Validation of a self-excising marker in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus by employing the beta-rec/six site-specific recombination system.

    PubMed

    Hartmann, Thomas; Dümig, Michaela; Jaber, Basem M; Szewczyk, Edyta; Olbermann, Patrick; Morschhäuser, Joachim; Krappmann, Sven

    2010-09-01

    Recyclable markers based on site-specific recombination allow repetitive gene targeting in filamentous fungi. Here we describe for the first time functionality of the bacterial recombination system employing beta serine recombinase acting on six recognition sequences (beta-rec/six) in a fungal host, the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus, and its use in establishing a self-excising resistance marker cassette for serial gene replacement.

  16. Production of extracellular traps against Aspergillus fumigatus in vitro and in infected lung tissue is dependent on invading neutrophils and influenced by hydrophobin RodA.

    PubMed

    Bruns, Sandra; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Hasenberg, Mike; Aimanianda, Vishukumar; Nietzsche, Sandor; Thywissen, Andreas; Jeron, Andreas; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Brakhage, Axel A; Gunzer, Matthias

    2010-04-29

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important airborne fungal pathogen causing life-threatening infections in immunocompromised patients. Macrophages and neutrophils are known to kill conidia, whereas hyphae are killed mainly by neutrophils. Since hyphae are too large to be engulfed, neutrophils possess an array of extracellular killing mechanisms including the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) consisting of nuclear DNA decorated with fungicidal proteins. However, until now NET formation in response to A. fumigatus has only been demonstrated in vitro, the importance of neutrophils for their production in vivo is unclear and the molecular mechanisms of the fungus to defend against NET formation are unknown. Here, we show that human neutrophils produce NETs in vitro when encountering A. fumigatus. In time-lapse movies NET production was a highly dynamic process which, however, was only exhibited by a sub-population of cells. NETosis was maximal against hyphae, but reduced against resting and swollen conidia. In a newly developed mouse model we could then demonstrate the existence and measure the kinetics of NET formation in vivo by 2-photon microscopy of Aspergillus-infected lungs. We also observed the enormous dynamics of neutrophils within the lung and their ability to interact with and phagocytose fungal elements in situ. Furthermore, systemic neutrophil depletion in mice almost completely inhibited NET formation in lungs, thus directly linking the immigration of neutrophils with NET formation in vivo. By using fungal mutants and purified proteins we demonstrate that hydrophobin RodA, a surface protein making conidia immunologically inert, led to reduced NET formation of neutrophils encountering Aspergillus fungal elements. NET-dependent killing of Aspergillus-hyphae could be demonstrated at later time-points, but was only moderate. Thus, these data establish that NET formation occurs in vivo during host defence against A. fumigatus, but suggest

  17. Recombinant expression and antigenic properties of a 32-kilodalton extracellular alkaline protease, representing a possible virulence factor from Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed Central

    Moser, M; Menz, G; Blaser, K; Crameri, R

    1994-01-01

    A 32-kDa nonglycosylated alkaline protease (EC 3.4.1.14) with elastolytic activity, secreted by the opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus ATCC 42202, is suggested to be a virulence factor of this fungus. The enzyme is a serine protease of the subtilisin family, and its cDNA nucleotide sequence has recently been reported. We have cloned the cDNA encoding the mature protease into a high-level Escherichia coli expression plasmid and produced the recombinant protease as a fusion protein with a six-adjacent-histidine affinity tag at the carboxy terminus. Subsequently, the recombinant protease was purified to homogeneity, with affinity chromatography yielding 30 to 40 mg of recombinant protease per liter of E. coli culture. Refolded recombinant protease, in comparison with native protease, demonstrated weak enzymatic activity but similar immunochemical characteristics as analyzed by antigen-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), competition ELISA, and immunoblotting assays. To assess the allergenic potential of the protease, sera from patients with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis and sera from healthy control individuals were analyzed by ELISA and immunoblotting techniques. Sera from patients with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis did not have protease-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies and, remarkably, did not show significantly elevated protease-specific IgG antibody levels compared with those in sera from healthy control individuals. This suggests that the alkaline protease from A. fumigatus does not elicit IgE antibodies and has weak immunogenicity, a property which may explain fungus persistence in allergic individuals. Images PMID:8112866

  18. Four ardeemin analogs from endophytic Aspergillus fumigatus SPS-02 and their reversal effects on multidrug-resistant tumor cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hua-Wei; Ying, Chen; Tang, Yi-Fei

    2014-01-01

    Four ardeemin derivatives, 5-N-acetylardeemin (1), 5-N-acetyl-15bβ-hydroxyardeemin (2), 5-N-acetyl-15b-didehydroardeemin (3), and 5-N-acetyl-16α-hydroxyardeemin (4), were isolated from the fermentation broth of an endophytic Aspergillus fumigatus SPS-02 associated with Artemisia annua L. The structures of these metabolites were elucidated by a combination of spectroscopic data, including 1D-, 2D-NMR and MS. In vitro chemosensitization assay indicated that these ardeemins had different activities of reversing the multidrug-resistant (MDR) phenotype in three cancer cell lines, leukemia doxorubicin resistant cell K562/DOX, human lung adenocarcinoma cis-platin-resistant cell A549/DDP, and ovarian cancer cisplatin-resistant cell SK-OV-S/DDP. Compound 4 exhibited the strongest MDR reversing effect at 5 μM concentration in K562/DOX and A549/DDP cell lines 5.2±0.18-fold, 8.2±0.23-fold, respectively, while compound 2 had the highest reversal capacity in SK-OV-S/DDP cell line with 10.8±0.28 fold. Preliminary investigation of their structureactivity relationship suggested that a OH group at C(15b) or C(16) in ardeemin plays a key role in reversing the MDR effect. It is the first report on ardeemin analogs from endophytic A. fumigatus with reversal effects on MDR cancer cell lines K562/DOX, A549/DDP and SK-OV-S/DDP. PMID:24443428

  19. Detection of Salmonella spp., Candida albicans, Aspergillus spp., and Antimicrobial Residues in Raw and Processed Cow Milk from Selected Smallholder Farms of Zimbabwe

    PubMed Central

    Mhone, Tryness Anastazia; Matope, Gift; Saidi, Petronella Tapiwa

    2012-01-01

    A cross-sectional study was conducted to detect the presence of Salmonella spp., Candida albicans, Aspergillus spp., and antimicrobial residues in raw milk (n = 120) and processed cow milk (n = 20) from smallholder dairy farms from three sites in Zimbabwe. Culture and isolation of Salmonella spp., C. albicans, and Aspergillus spp. were performed using selective media, while antimicrobial residues were detected by a dye reduction test. No Salmonella, but C. albicans (17.5%; 21/120), Aspergillus spp. (0.8%; 1/120), and antimicrobial residues (2.5%; 3/120) were detected from raw milk. C. albicans was isolated from all three sites, while Aspergillus spp. and antimicrobial residues were detected from sites 1 and 3, respectively. From processed milk, only C. albicans (5%) was isolated while Aspergillus spp. and antimicrobial residues were not detected. These results suggested low prevalence of Salmonella spp. and Aspergillus spp. and a relatively high prevalence of C. albicans in raw milk from the smallholder farms. The potential public health risks of C. albicans and the detected antimicrobial residues need to be considered. Thus, educating farmers on improving milking hygiene and storage of milk and establishing programmes for monitoring antimicrobial residues may help to improve the safety of milk from smallholder farms. PMID:23050199

  20. Disinfection efficacy of chlorine and peracetic acid alone or in combination against Aspergillus spp. and Candida albicans in drinking water.

    PubMed

    Sisti, Maurizio; Brandi, Giorgio; De Santi, Mauro; Rinaldi, Laura; Schiavano, Giuditta F

    2012-03-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the fungicidal activity of chlorine and peracetic acid in drinking water against various pathogenic Aspergillus spp. and Candida albicans strains. A. nidulans exhibited the greatest resistance, requiring 10 ppm of chlorine for 30 min contact time for a complete inactivation. Under the same experimental conditions, peracetic acid was even less fungicidal. In this case, A. niger proved to be the most resistant species (50 ppm for 60 min for complete inactivation). All Aspergillus spp. were insensitive to 10 ppm even with extended exposure (>5 h). The combination of chlorine and peracetic acid against Aspergillus spp. did not show synergistic effects except in the case of A. flavus. Complete growth inhibition of C. albicans was observed after about 3 h contact time with 0.2 ppm. C. albicans was less sensitive to peracetic acid. Hence the concentrations of chlorine that are usually present in drinking water distribution systems are ineffective against several Aspergillus spp. and peracetic acid cannot be considered an alternative to chlorine for disinfecting drinking water. The combination of the two biocides is not very effective in eliminating filamentous fungi at the concentrations permitted for drinking water disinfection.

  1. Identification of Hypoxia-Inducible Target Genes of Aspergillus fumigatus by Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Cellular Respiration as an Important Contributor to Hypoxic Survival

    PubMed Central

    Kroll, Kristin; Pähtz, Vera; Hillmann, Falk; Vaknin, Yakir; Schmidt-Heck, Wolfgang; Roth, Martin; Jacobsen, Ilse D.; Osherov, Nir; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic, airborne pathogen that causes invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised patients. During the infection process, A. fumigatus is challenged by hypoxic microenvironments occurring in inflammatory, necrotic tissue. To gain further insights into the adaptation mechanism, A. fumigatus was cultivated in an oxygen-controlled chemostat under hypoxic and normoxic conditions. Transcriptome analysis revealed a significant increase in transcripts associated with cell wall polysaccharide metabolism, amino acid and metal ion transport, nitrogen metabolism, and glycolysis. A concomitant reduction in transcript levels was observed with cellular trafficking and G-protein-coupled signaling. To learn more about the functional roles of hypoxia-induced transcripts, we deleted A. fumigatus genes putatively involved in reactive nitrogen species detoxification (fhpA), NAD+ regeneration (frdA and osmA), nitrogen metabolism (niaD and niiA), and respiration (rcfB). We show that the nitric oxygen (NO)-detoxifying flavohemoprotein gene fhpA is strongly induced by hypoxia independent of the nitrogen source but is dispensable for hypoxic survival. By deleting the nitrate reductase gene niaD, the nitrite reductase gene niiA, and the two fumarate reductase genes frdA and osmA, we found that alternative electron acceptors, such as nitrate and fumarate, do not have a significant impact on growth of A. fumigatus during hypoxia, but functional mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes are essential under these conditions. Inhibition studies indicated that primarily complexes III and IV play a crucial role in the hypoxic growth of A. fumigatus. PMID:25084861

  2. Identification of hypoxia-inducible target genes of Aspergillus fumigatus by transcriptome analysis reveals cellular respiration as an important contributor to hypoxic survival.

    PubMed

    Kroll, Kristin; Pähtz, Vera; Hillmann, Falk; Vaknin, Yakir; Schmidt-Heck, Wolfgang; Roth, Martin; Jacobsen, Ilse D; Osherov, Nir; Brakhage, Axel A; Kniemeyer, Olaf

    2014-09-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic, airborne pathogen that causes invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised patients. During the infection process, A. fumigatus is challenged by hypoxic microenvironments occurring in inflammatory, necrotic tissue. To gain further insights into the adaptation mechanism, A. fumigatus was cultivated in an oxygen-controlled chemostat under hypoxic and normoxic conditions. Transcriptome analysis revealed a significant increase in transcripts associated with cell wall polysaccharide metabolism, amino acid and metal ion transport, nitrogen metabolism, and glycolysis. A concomitant reduction in transcript levels was observed with cellular trafficking and G-protein-coupled signaling. To learn more about the functional roles of hypoxia-induced transcripts, we deleted A. fumigatus genes putatively involved in reactive nitrogen species detoxification (fhpA), NAD(+) regeneration (frdA and osmA), nitrogen metabolism (niaD and niiA), and respiration (rcfB). We show that the nitric oxygen (NO)-detoxifying flavohemoprotein gene fhpA is strongly induced by hypoxia independent of the nitrogen source but is dispensable for hypoxic survival. By deleting the nitrate reductase gene niaD, the nitrite reductase gene niiA, and the two fumarate reductase genes frdA and osmA, we found that alternative electron acceptors, such as nitrate and fumarate, do not have a significant impact on growth of A. fumigatus during hypoxia, but functional mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes are essential under these conditions. Inhibition studies indicated that primarily complexes III and IV play a crucial role in the hypoxic growth of A. fumigatus.

  3. Preparative separation and purification of fumigaclavine C from fermented mycelia of Aspergillus fumigatus CY018 by macroporous adsorption resin.

    PubMed

    Yao, Ling-Yun; Zhu, Yi-Xiang; Liu, Chang-Qing; Jiao, Rui-Hua; Lu, Yan-Hua; Tan, Ren-Xiang

    2015-05-01

    In this work, the separation and purification of fumigaclavine C (FC), an ergot alkaloid with strong anti-inflammatory activity from fermented mycelia of Aspergillus fumigatus was systematically evaluated. Among the eight tested resins, the non-polar resin D101 displayed the best adsorption and desorption based on of static adsorption and desorption tests. Adsorption isotherms were constructed on D101 resin and fitted well to the Freundlich model. Dynamic adsorption and desorption tests on a column packed with D101 resin have been investigated for optimization of chromatographic parameters. Under optimized conditions, the contents of FC increased from 7.32% (w/w) in the crude extract to 67.54% in the final product with a recovery yield of 90.35% (w/w) via one run. Furthermore, a lab scale-up separation was carried out, in which the FC content and recovery yield were 65.83% and 90.13%, respectively. These results demonstrated that this adsorption-desorption strategy by using D101 resin was simple and efficient, thus showing potential for large scale purification and preparation of FC in the future.

  4. Biofilm Filtrates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Strains Isolated from Cystic Fibrosis Patients Inhibit Preformed Aspergillus fumigatus Biofilms via Apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Shirazi, Fazal; Ferreira, Jose A G; Stevens, David A; Clemons, Karl V; Kontoyiannis, Dimitrios P

    2016-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) and Aspergillus fumigatus (Af) colonize cystic fibrosis (CF) patient airways. Pa culture filtrates inhibit Af biofilms, and Pa non-CF, mucoid (Muc-CF) and nonmucoid CF (NMuc-CF) isolates form an ascending inhibitory hierarchy. We hypothesized this activity is mediated through apoptosis induction. One Af and three Pa (non-CF, Muc-CF, NMuc-CF) reference isolates were studied. Af biofilm was formed in 96 well plates for 16 h ± Pa biofilm filtrates. After 24 h, apoptosis was characterized by viability dye DiBAc, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, mitochondrial membrane depolarization, DNA fragmentation and metacaspase activity. Muc-CF and NMuc-CF filtrates inhibited and damaged Af biofilm (p<0.0001). Intracellular ROS levels were elevated (p<0.001) in NMuc-CF-treated Af biofilms (3.7- fold) compared to treatment with filtrates from Muc-CF- (2.5- fold) or non-CF Pa (1.7- fold). Depolarization of mitochondrial potential was greater upon exposure to NMuc-CF (2.4-fold) compared to Muc-CF (1.8-fold) or non-CF (1.25-fold) (p<0.0001) filtrates. Exposure to filtrates resulted in more DNA fragmentation in Af biofilm, compared to control, mediated by metacaspase activation. In conclusion, filtrates from CF-Pa isolates were more inhibitory against Af biofilms than from non-CF. The apoptotic effect involves mitochondrial membrane damage associated with metacaspase activation.

  5. Biofilm Filtrates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Strains Isolated from Cystic Fibrosis Patients Inhibit Preformed Aspergillus fumigatus Biofilms via Apoptosis

    PubMed Central

    Shirazi, Fazal; Ferreira, Jose A. G.; Stevens, David A.; Clemons, Karl V.; Kontoyiannis, Dimitrios P.

    2016-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) and Aspergillus fumigatus (Af) colonize cystic fibrosis (CF) patient airways. Pa culture filtrates inhibit Af biofilms, and Pa non-CF, mucoid (Muc-CF) and nonmucoid CF (NMuc-CF) isolates form an ascending inhibitory hierarchy. We hypothesized this activity is mediated through apoptosis induction. One Af and three Pa (non-CF, Muc-CF, NMuc-CF) reference isolates were studied. Af biofilm was formed in 96 well plates for 16 h ± Pa biofilm filtrates. After 24 h, apoptosis was characterized by viability dye DiBAc, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, mitochondrial membrane depolarization, DNA fragmentation and metacaspase activity. Muc-CF and NMuc-CF filtrates inhibited and damaged Af biofilm (p<0.0001). Intracellular ROS levels were elevated (p<0.001) in NMuc-CF-treated Af biofilms (3.7- fold) compared to treatment with filtrates from Muc-CF- (2.5- fold) or non-CF Pa (1.7- fold). Depolarization of mitochondrial potential was greater upon exposure to NMuc-CF (2.4-fold) compared to Muc-CF (1.8-fold) or non-CF (1.25-fold) (p<0.0001) filtrates. Exposure to filtrates resulted in more DNA fragmentation in Af biofilm, compared to control, mediated by metacaspase activation. In conclusion, filtrates from CF-Pa isolates were more inhibitory against Af biofilms than from non-CF. The apoptotic effect involves mitochondrial membrane damage associated with metacaspase activation. PMID:26930399

  6. Development and Evaluation of a Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Method for Rapid Detection of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Tang, Qing; Tian, Shuguang; Yu, Nong; Zhang, Xi; Jia, Xiaodong; Zhai, Hongyan; Sun, Qun; Han, Li

    2016-04-01

    Aspergillus fumigatusis a conditional pathogen and the major cause of life-threatening invasive aspergillosis (IA) in immunocompromised patients. The early and rapid detection ofA. fumigatusinfection is still a major challenge. In this study, the new member of the fungal annexin family, annexin C4, was chosen as the target to design a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for the rapid, specific, and sensitive detection ofA. fumigatus The evaluation of the specificity of the LAMP assay that was developed showed that no false-positive results were observed for the 22 non-A. fumigatusstrains, including 5 species of theAspergillusgenus. Its detection limit was approximately 10 copies per reaction in reference plasmids, with higher sensitivity than that of real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) at 10(2)copies for the same target. Clinical samples from a total of 69 patients with probable IA (n =14) and possible IA (n= 55) were subjected to the LAMP assay, and positive results were found for the 14 patients with probable IA (100%) and 34 patients with possible IA (61.82%). When detection using the LAMP assay was compared with that using qPCR in the 69 clinical samples, the LAMP assay demonstrated a sensitivity of 89.19% and the concordance rate for the two methods was 72.46%. Accordingly, we report that a valuable LAMP assay for the rapid, specific, and simple detection ofA. fumigatusin clinical testing has been developed.

  7. Comparative proteomics of a tor inducible Aspergillus fumigatus mutant reveals involvement of the Tor kinase in iron regulation.

    PubMed

    Baldin, Clara; Valiante, Vito; Krüger, Thomas; Schafferer, Lukas; Haas, Hubertus; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Brakhage, Axel A

    2015-07-01

    The Tor (target of rapamycin) kinase is one of the major regulatory nodes in eukaryotes. Here, we analyzed the Tor kinase in Aspergillus fumigatus, which is the most important airborne fungal pathogen of humans. Because deletion of the single tor gene was apparently lethal, we generated a conditional lethal tor mutant by replacing the endogenous tor gene by the inducible xylp-tor gene cassette. By both 2DE and gel-free LC-MS/MS, we found that Tor controls a variety of proteins involved in nutrient sensing, stress response, cell cycle progression, protein biosynthesis and degradation, but also processes in mitochondria, such as respiration and ornithine metabolism, which is required for siderophore formation. qRT-PCR analyses indicated that mRNA levels of ornithine biosynthesis genes were increased under iron limitation. When tor was repressed, iron regulation was lost. In a deletion mutant of the iron regulator HapX also carrying the xylp-tor cassette, the regulation upon iron deprivation was similar to that of the single tor inducible mutant strain. In line, hapX expression was significantly reduced when tor was repressed. Thus, Tor acts either upstream of HapX or independently of HapX as a repressor of the ornithine biosynthesis genes and thereby regulates the production of siderophores.

  8. Cloning, overexpression and biocatalytic exploration of a novel Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenase from Aspergillus fumigatus Af293

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The presence of several putative Baeyer-Villiger Monooxygenases (BVMOs) encoding genes in Aspergillus fumigatus Af293 was demonstrated for the first time. One of the identified BVMO-encoding genes was cloned and successfully overexpressed fused to the cofactor regenerating enzyme phosphite dehydrogenase (PTDH). The enzyme named BVMOAf1 was extensively characterized in terms of its substrate scope and essential kinetic features. It showed high chemo-, regio- and stereoselectivity not only in the oxidation of asymmetric sulfides, (S)-sulfoxides were obtained with 99% ee, but also in the kinetic resolution of bicyclo[3.2.0]hept-2-en-6-one. This kinetic resolution process led to the production of (1S,5R) normal lactone and (1R,5S) abnormal lactone with a regioisomeric ratio of 1:1 and 99% ee each. Besides, different reaction conditions, such as pH, temperature and the presence of organic solvents, have been tested, revealing that BVMOAf1 is a relatively robust biocatalyst. PMID:23767684

  9. Assessment of Aspergillus fumigatus in Guinea Pig Bronchoalveolar Lavages and Pulmonary Tissue by Culture and Realtime Polymerase Chain Reaction Studies

    PubMed Central

    Hooper, Dennis G.; Bolton, Vincent E.; Sutton, John S.; Guilford, Frederick T.; Straus, David C.; Najvar, Laura K.; Wiederhold, Nathan P.; Kirkpatrick, William R.; Patterson, Thomas F.

    2012-01-01

    In this study we pursued a diagnostic target in Aspergillus fumigatus (AF) by using qualitative Realtime PCR combined with proprietary DNA primers and a hydrolysis probe specific for this fungal target. Qualitative Realtime PCR is a diagnostic tool that utilizes Realtime PCR technology and detects the presence or absence target specific DNA within a predetermined detection range. Respiratory tissue and fluids from experimentally infected guinea pigs were tested by extracting DNA from the samples which were amplified and detected using AF specific DNA primers and probe. This study included qualitative evaluations of all specimens for the presence of the DNA of AF. The findings in the tissues after AF infection were compared to the numbers of spores in aerosolized samples used to inoculate the animals. Results demonstrated that the specific probe and primer set could detect the presence or absence of AF DNA in the sample. The qualitative detection limit of the assay ranged from 6 × 104 copies to 6 copies. Since blood cultures are rarely positive for Aspergillosis, our data indicate that qualitative Realtime PCR, in combination with the appropriate DNA primers and probe can serve as an effective diagnostic tool in the early detection of fungal infections. PMID:22312282

  10. Preparative separation and purification of fumigaclavine C from fermented mycelia of Aspergillus fumigatus CY018 by macroporous adsorption resin.

    PubMed

    Yao, Ling-Yun; Zhu, Yi-Xiang; Liu, Chang-Qing; Jiao, Rui-Hua; Lu, Yan-Hua; Tan, Ren-Xiang

    2015-05-01

    In this work, the separation and purification of fumigaclavine C (FC), an ergot alkaloid with strong anti-inflammatory activity from fermented mycelia of Aspergillus fumigatus was systematically evaluated. Among the eight tested resins, the non-polar resin D101 displayed the best adsorption and desorption based on of static adsorption and desorption tests. Adsorption isotherms were constructed on D101 resin and fitted well to the Freundlich model. Dynamic adsorption and desorption tests on a column packed with D101 resin have been investigated for optimization of chromatographic parameters. Under optimized conditions, the contents of FC increased from 7.32% (w/w) in the crude extract to 67.54% in the final product with a recovery yield of 90.35% (w/w) via one run. Furthermore, a lab scale-up separation was carried out, in which the FC content and recovery yield were 65.83% and 90.13%, respectively. These results demonstrated that this adsorption-desorption strategy by using D101 resin was simple and efficient, thus showing potential for large scale purification and preparation of FC in the future. PMID:25817261

  11. Fumigaclavine C from a Marine-Derived Fungus Aspergillus Fumigatus Induces Apoptosis in MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yong-Xin; Himaya, S.W.A.; Dewapriya, Pradeep; Zhang, Chen; Kim, Se-Kwon

    2013-01-01

    Recently, much attention has been given to discovering natural compounds as potent anti-cancer candidates. In the present study, the anti-cancer effects of fumigaclavine C, isolated from a marine-derived fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus, was evaluated in vitro. In order to investigate the impact of fumigaclavine C on inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis in breast cancer, MCF-7 cells were treated with various concentrations of fumigaclavine C, and fumigaclavine C showed significant cytotoxicity towards MCF-7 cells. Anti-proliferation was analyzed via cell mobility and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway. In addition, fumigaclavine C showed potent inhibition on the protein and gene level expressions of MMP-2, -9 in MCF-7 cells which were manifested in Western blot and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) results. The apoptosis induction abilities of the fumigaclvine C was studied by analyzing the expression of apoptosis related proteins, cell cycle analysis, DNA fragmentation and molecular docking studies. It was found that fumigaclavine C fragmented the MCF-7 cell DNA and arrested the cell cycle by modulating the apoptotic protein expressions. Moreover, fumigaclavine C significantly down-regulated the NF-kappa-B cell survival pathway. Collectively, data suggest that fumigaclavine C has a potential to be developed as a therapeutic candidate for breast cancer. PMID:24351905

  12. Fumigaclavine C from a marine-derived fungus Aspergillus fumigatus induces apoptosis in MCF-7 breast cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Yong-Xin; Himaya, S W A; Dewapriya, Pradeep; Zhang, Chen; Kim, Se-Kwon

    2013-12-01

    Recently, much attention has been given to discovering natural compounds as potent anti-cancer candidates. In the present study, the anti-cancer effects of fumigaclavine C, isolated from a marine-derived fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus, was evaluated in vitro. In order to investigate the impact of fumigaclavine C on inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis in breast cancer, MCF-7 cells were treated with various concentrations of fumigaclavine C, and fumigaclavine C showed significant cytotoxicity towards MCF-7 cells. Anti-proliferation was analyzed via cell mobility and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway. In addition, fumigaclavine C showed potent inhibition on the protein and gene level expressions of MMP-2, -9 in MCF-7 cells which were manifested in Western blot and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) results. The apoptosis induction abilities of the fumigaclvine C was studied by analyzing the expression of apoptosis related proteins, cell cycle analysis, DNA fragmentation and molecular docking studies. It was found that fumigaclavine C fragmented the MCF-7 cell DNA and arrested the cell cycle by modulating the apoptotic protein expressions. Moreover, fumigaclavine C significantly down-regulated the NF-kappa-B cell survival pathway. Collectively, data suggest that fumigaclavine C has a potential to be developed as a therapeutic candidate for breast cancer. PMID:24351905

  13. Enhanced production of Fumigaclavine C in liquid culture of Aspergillus fumigatus under a two-stage process.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yi-Xiang; Yao, Ling-Yun; Jiao, Rui-Hua; Lu, Yan-Hua; Tan, Ren-Xiang

    2014-01-01

    Fumigaclavine C (FC) produced by Aspergillus fumigatus is a conidiation associated ergot alkaloid with strong anti-inflammatory activity. However, its wide application has been severely limited by low FC production from submerged culture. In this work, a novel two-stage culture process by combining shake culture with static culture was proposed to enhance the production of FC. After the process optimization, the FC production reached 62.7 mg/L, which was significantly higher than ever report. For scaling up this new culture process, the gas-liquid interfacial area per unit volume (Agas-liq) was identified as the key factor. The results showed that in a combined stirred-static bioreactor system, a maximum FC production (58.97 mg/L) was obtained at an Agas-liq value of 1.30 cm(2)/mL. These results demonstrated that two-stage culture is an efficient strategy to enhance FC production and the information obtained will be useful to production of this powerful bioactive compound on a large scale. PMID:24291794

  14. Potential allelopathic indole diketopiperazines produced by the plant endophytic Aspergillus fumigatus using the one strain-many compounds method.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiang; Wang, Shi-Qiong; Tang, Hao-Yu; Li, Xiao-Jun; Zhang, Lu; Xiao, Jian; Gao, Yu-Qi; Zhang, An-Ling; Gao, Jin-Ming

    2013-11-27

    On the basis of the OSMAC (one strain-many compounds) strategy, 14 indole diketopiperazine (DKP) alkaloids, including spirotryprostatins (1-3), tryprostatins (4-6), and cyclotryprostatins (7-14), were isolated from the endophyte Aspergillus fumigatus associated with Melia azedarach L. Their structures were identified by nuclear magnetic resonance and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry data. All the indole DKPs were evaluated for plant growth regulation using the lettuce (Lactuca sativa) seedling growth bioassay, which showed the plant growth influence of the seedling. Among these compounds tested, a tryprostatin-type compound, brevianamide F (6), was identified as a new type of natural potential plant growth inhibitor with a response index (RI) higher than that of the positive control glyphosate, a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide. 6 can also inhibit turnip (Raphanus sativus) shoot and root elongation with RIs of -0.76 and -0.70, respectively, at 120 ppm, and it strongly inhibits amaranth (Amaranthus mangostanus) seedling growth with a high RI of -0.9 at 40 ppm. The structure-allelopathic activity relationship analysis of these isolated alkaloids indicates that tryprostatin-type alkaloids without the C5 prenyl and methoxy group give the most potent inhibition of seedling growth. Brevianamide F (6) could be used to develop a natural eco-friendly herbicide.

  15. Multiple Brain Abscesses Due to Aspergillus Fumigatus in a Patient With Liver Cirrhosis

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Hung-Jen; Liu, Wei-Lun; Chang, Tsung Chain; Li, Ming-Chi; Ko, Wen-Chien; Wu, Chi-Jung; Chuang, Yin-Ching; Lai, Chih-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Invasive cerebral aspergillosis always developed in immunocompromised host. Early diagnosis may save life in this critical condition; however, it is difficult to reach. Herein, we presented an unusual case of invasive cerebral aspergillosis in a cirrhotic patient. A 47-year-old man presented with progressive deterioration of consciousness for three days. The patient had a history of alcoholic liver cirrhosis, Child-Pugh class C. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of brain showed multi-focal parenchymal lesions, which was consistent with multiple brain abscesses. The diagnosis of invasive cerebral aspergillosis was made by molecular based laboratory methods including Aspergillus galactomannan antigen assay and oligonucleotide array. Despite treatment with the antifungal agent, Amphotericin B, the patient died at the ninth day of hospitalization. Our findings suggest that liver cirrhosis can be one of risk factors of invasive cerebral aspergillosis, and support the diagnosing usefulness of MRI, Aspergillus galactomannan antigen assay, and oligonucleotide array. PMID:26945363

  16. Multiple Brain Abscesses Due to Aspergillus Fumigatus in a Patient With Liver Cirrhosis: A Case Report.

    PubMed

    Tang, Hung-Jen; Liu, Wei-Lun; Chang, Tsung Chain; Li, Ming-Chi; Ko, Wen-Chien; Wu, Chi-Jung; Chuang, Yin-Ching; Lai, Chih-Cheng

    2016-03-01

    Invasive cerebral aspergillosis always developed in immunocompromised host. Early diagnosis may save life in this critical condition; however, it is difficult to reach. Herein, we presented an unusual case of invasive cerebral aspergillosis in a cirrhotic patient. A 47-year-old man presented with progressive deterioration of consciousness for three days. The patient had a history of alcoholic liver cirrhosis, Child-Pugh class C. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of brain showed multi-focal parenchymal lesions, which was consistent with multiple brain abscesses. The diagnosis of invasive cerebral aspergillosis was made by molecular based laboratory methods including Aspergillus galactomannan antigen assay and oligonucleotide array. Despite treatment with the antifungal agent, Amphotericin B, the patient died at the ninth day of hospitalization. Our findings suggest that liver cirrhosis can be one of risk factors of invasive cerebral aspergillosis, and support the diagnosing usefulness of MRI, Aspergillus galactomannan antigen assay, and oligonucleotide array. PMID:26945363

  17. Zinc and Manganese Chelation by Neutrophil S100A8/A9 (Calprotectin) Limits Extracellular Aspergillus fumigatus Hyphal Growth and Corneal Infection.

    PubMed

    Clark, Heather L; Jhingran, Anupam; Sun, Yan; Vareechon, Chairut; de Jesus Carrion, Steven; Skaar, Eric P; Chazin, Walter J; Calera, José Antonio; Hohl, Tobias M; Pearlman, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Calprotectin, a heterodimer of S100A8 and S100A9, is an abundant neutrophil protein that possesses antimicrobial activity primarily because of its ability to chelate zinc and manganese. In the current study, we showed that neutrophils from calprotectin-deficient S100A9(-/-) mice have an impaired ability to inhibit Aspergillus fumigatus hyphal growth in vitro and in infected corneas in a murine model of fungal keratitis; however, the ability to inhibit hyphal growth was restored in S100A9(-/-) mice by injecting recombinant calprotectin. Furthermore, using recombinant calprotectin with mutations in either the Zn and Mn binding sites or the Mn binding site alone, we show that both zinc and manganese binding are necessary for calprotectin's antihyphal activity. In contrast to hyphae, we found no role for neutrophil calprotectin in uptake or killing of intracellular A. fumigatus conidia either in vitro or in a murine model of pulmonary aspergillosis. We also found that an A. fumigatus ∆zafA mutant, which demonstrates deficient zinc transport, exhibits impaired growth in infected corneas and following incubation with neutrophils or calprotectin in vitro as compared with wild-type. Collectively, these studies demonstrate a novel stage-specific susceptibility of A. fumigatus to zinc and manganese chelation by neutrophil-derived calprotectin.

  18. Analysis of the Aspergillus fumigatus Proteome Reveals Metabolic Changes and the Activation of the Pseurotin A Biosynthesis Gene Cluster in Response to Hypoxia

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The mold Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important airborne fungal pathogen. Adaptation to hypoxia represents an important virulence attribute for A. fumigatus. Therefore, we aimed at obtaining a comprehensive overview about this process on the proteome level. To ensure highly reproducible growth conditions, an oxygen-controlled, glucose-limited chemostat cultivation was established. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis analysis of mycelial and mitochondrial proteins as well as two-dimensional Blue Native/SDS-gel separation of mitochondrial membrane proteins led to the identification of 117 proteins with an altered abundance under hypoxic in comparison to normoxic conditions. Hypoxia induced an increased activity of glycolysis, the TCA-cycle, respiration, and amino acid metabolism. Consistently, the cellular contents in heme, iron, copper, and zinc increased. Furthermore, hypoxia induced biosynthesis of the secondary metabolite pseurotin A as demonstrated at proteomic, transcriptional, and metabolite levels. The observed and so far not reported stimulation of the biosynthesis of a secondary metabolite by oxygen depletion may also affect the survival of A. fumigatus in hypoxic niches of the human host. Among the proteins so far not implicated in hypoxia adaptation, an NO-detoxifying flavohemoprotein was one of the most highly up-regulated proteins which indicates a link between hypoxia and the generation of nitrosative stress in A. fumigatus. PMID:21388144

  19. Overlapping and Distinct Roles of Aspergillus fumigatus UDP-glucose 4-Epimerases in Galactose Metabolism and the Synthesis of Galactose-containing Cell Wall Polysaccharides*

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Mark J.; Gravelat, Fabrice N.; Cerone, Robert P.; Baptista, Stefanie D.; Campoli, Paolo V.; Choe, Se-In; Kravtsov, Ilia; Vinogradov, Evgeny; Creuzenet, Carole; Liu, Hong; Berghuis, Albert M.; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Filler, Scott G.; Fontaine, Thierry; Sheppard, Donald C.

    2014-01-01

    The cell wall of Aspergillus fumigatus contains two galactose-containing polysaccharides, galactomannan and galactosaminogalactan, whose biosynthetic pathways are not well understood. The A. fumigatus genome contains three genes encoding putative UDP-glucose 4-epimerases, uge3, uge4, and uge5. We undertook this study to elucidate the function of these epimerases. We found that uge4 is minimally expressed and is not required for the synthesis of galactose-containing exopolysaccharides or galactose metabolism. Uge5 is the dominant UDP-glucose 4-epimerase in A. fumigatus and is essential for normal growth in galactose-based medium. Uge5 is required for synthesis of the galactofuranose (Galf) component of galactomannan and contributes galactose to the synthesis of galactosaminogalactan. Uge3 can mediate production of both UDP-galactose and UDP-N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) and is required for the production of galactosaminogalactan but not galactomannan. In the absence of Uge5, Uge3 activity is sufficient for growth on galactose and the synthesis of galactosaminogalactan containing lower levels of galactose but not the synthesis of Galf. A double deletion of uge5 and uge3 blocked growth on galactose and synthesis of both Galf and galactosaminogalactan. This study is the first survey of glucose epimerases in A. fumigatus and contributes to our understanding of the role of these enzymes in metabolism and cell wall synthesis. PMID:24257745

  20. Primary in vitro culture of porcine tracheal epithelial cells in an air-liquid interface as a model to study airway epithelium and Aspergillus fumigatus interactions.

    PubMed

    Khoufache, Khaled; Cabaret, Odile; Farrugia, Cécile; Rivollet, Danièle; Alliot, Annie; Allaire, Eric; Cordonnier, Catherine; Bretagne, Stéphane; Botterel, Françoise

    2010-12-01

    Since the airway epithelium is the first tissue encountered by airborne fungal spores, specific models are needed to study this interaction. We developed such a model using primary porcine tracheal epithelial cells (PTEC) as a possible alternative to the use of primary human cells. PTEC were obtained from pigs and were cultivated in an air-liquid interface. Fluorescent brightener was employed to quantify the internalization of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia. Potential differences (Vt) and transepithelial resistances (Rt) after challenge with the mycotoxin, verruculogen, were studied. Primers for porcine inflammatory mediator genes IL-8, TNF-alpha, and GM-CSF were designed for a quantitative real-time PCR procedure to study cellular responses to challenges with A. fumigatus conidia. TEM showed the differentiation of ciliated cells and the PTEC ability to internalize conidia. The internalization rate was 21.9 ± 1.4% after 8 h of incubation. Verruculogen (10(-6) M) significantly increased Vt without having an effect on the Rt. Exposure of PTEC to live A. fumigatus conidia for 24 h induced a 10- to 40-fold increase in the mRNA levels of inflammatory mediator genes. PTEC behave similarly to human cells and are therefore a suitable alternative to human cells for studying interaction between airway epithelium and A. fumigatus. PMID:20608777

  1. A guide to the recent literature on aspergillosis as caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, a fungus frequently found in self-heating organic matter.

    PubMed

    Marsh, P B; Millner, P D; Kla, J M

    1979-11-30

    Spores of Aspergillus fumigatus have been found to be abundantly present in the outdoor air at a site where large scale experimental composting of sewage sludge is in progress at Beltsville, Maryland. The health significance of this finding, for that site and for others in the future, is still only incompletely understood. Further studies are in progress to characterize absolute concentrations of the spores of the fungus in air at the site, spore dispersal by air from composting operations, and background environmental spore levels in air. The present paper contains a list of references to papers on health effects of A. fumigatus, many published in the past ten years, along with a review of the same designed to assist the reader in finding information on particular aspects of the subject in the literature. It is intended primarily as an aid to individuals interested in sludge composting and wishing to attain an insight into the A. fumigatus-composting situation, but it may also interest others concerned with other substrates which become moldy at 40--50 C. A. fumigatus has been found in great numbers in naturally and artificially heated environments such as decaying leaves, compost heaps, solar heated sloughs, cooling canals for nuclear power generators, silos, grain storage bins, boiler rooms, detritus around steam turbines and sauna baths. The evident practical merits of sludge composting have been described elsewhere; the information presented here has its main significance in respect to requirements for choice of locations for composting sites and to process and design criteria.

  2. Overlapping and distinct roles of Aspergillus fumigatus UDP-glucose 4-epimerases in galactose metabolism and the synthesis of galactose-containing cell wall polysaccharides.

    PubMed

    Lee, Mark J; Gravelat, Fabrice N; Cerone, Robert P; Baptista, Stefanie D; Campoli, Paolo V; Choe, Se-In; Kravtsov, Ilia; Vinogradov, Evgeny; Creuzenet, Carole; Liu, Hong; Berghuis, Albert M; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Filler, Scott G; Fontaine, Thierry; Sheppard, Donald C

    2014-01-17

    The cell wall of Aspergillus fumigatus contains two galactose-containing polysaccharides, galactomannan and galactosaminogalactan, whose biosynthetic pathways are not well understood. The A. fumigatus genome contains three genes encoding putative UDP-glucose 4-epimerases, uge3, uge4, and uge5. We undertook this study to elucidate the function of these epimerases. We found that uge4 is minimally expressed and is not required for the synthesis of galactose-containing exopolysaccharides or galactose metabolism. Uge5 is the dominant UDP-glucose 4-epimerase in A. fumigatus and is essential for normal growth in galactose-based medium. Uge5 is required for synthesis of the galactofuranose (Galf) component of galactomannan and contributes galactose to the synthesis of galactosaminogalactan. Uge3 can mediate production of both UDP-galactose and UDP-N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) and is required for the production of galactosaminogalactan but not galactomannan. In the absence of Uge5, Uge3 activity is sufficient for growth on galactose and the synthesis of galactosaminogalactan containing lower levels of galactose but not the synthesis of Galf. A double deletion of uge5 and uge3 blocked growth on galactose and synthesis of both Galf and galactosaminogalactan. This study is the first survey of glucose epimerases in A. fumigatus and contributes to our understanding of the role of these enzymes in metabolism and cell wall synthesis.

  3. International expert opinion on the management of infection caused by azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Verweij, Paul E; Ananda-Rajah, Michelle; Andes, David; Arendrup, Maiken C; Brüggemann, Roger J; Chowdhary, Anuradha; Cornely, Oliver A; Denning, David W; Groll, Andreas H; Izumikawa, Koichi; Kullberg, Bart Jan; Lagrou, Katrien; Maertens, Johan; Meis, Jacques F; Newton, Pippa; Page, Iain; Seyedmousavi, Seyedmojtaba; Sheppard, Donald C; Viscoli, Claudio; Warris, Adilia; Donnelly, J Peter

    2015-01-01

    An international expert panel was convened to deliberate the management of azole-resistant aspergillosis. In culture-positive cases, in vitro susceptibility testing should always be performed if antifungal therapy is intended. Different patterns of resistance are seen, with multi-azole and pan-azole resistance more common than resistance to a single triazole. In confirmed invasive pulmonary aspergillosis due to an azole-resistant Aspergillus, the experts recommended a switch from voriconazole to liposomal amphotericin B (L-AmB; Ambisome(®)). In regions with environmental resistance rates of ≥10%, a voriconazole-echinocandin combination or L-AmB were favoured as initial therapy. All experts recommended L-AmB as core therapy for central nervous system aspergillosis suspected to be due to an azole-resistant Aspergillus, and considered the addition of a second agent with the majority favouring flucytosine. Intravenous therapy with either micafungin or L-AmB given as either intermittent or continuous therapy was recommended for chronic pulmonary aspergillosis due to a pan-azole-resistant Aspergillus. Local and national surveillance with identification of clinical and environmental resistance patterns, rapid diagnostics, better quality clinical outcome data, and a greater understanding of the factors driving or minimising environmental resistance are areas where research is urgently needed, as well as the development of new oral agents outside the azole drug class. PMID:26282594

  4. Azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus isolate with the TR34/L98H mutation in both a fungicide-sprayed field and the lung of a hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipient with invasive aspergillosis.

    PubMed

    Rocchi, Steffi; Daguindau, Etienne; Grenouillet, Frédéric; Deconinck, Eric; Bellanger, Anne-Pauline; Garcia-Hermoso, Dea; Bretagne, Stéphane; Reboux, Gabriel; Millon, Laurence

    2014-05-01

    A French farmer developed invasive aspergillosis with azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus with the TR34/L98H mutation following a hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. He had worked in fungicide-sprayed fields where a non-genetically related A. fumigatus TR34/L98H isolate was collected. If azole resistance detection increases, voriconazole as first-line therapy might be questioned in agricultural areas.

  5. Biochemical stability and molecular dynamic characterization of Aspergillus fumigatus cystathionine γ-lyase in response to various reaction effectors.

    PubMed

    El-Sayed, Ashraf S A; Abdel-Azeim, Safwat; Ibrahim, Hend M; Yassin, Marwa A; Abdel-Ghany, Salah E; Esener, Sadik; Ali, Gul Shad

    2015-12-01

    Cystathionine γ-lyase (CGL) is a key enzyme in the methionine-cysteine cycle in all living organisms forming cysteine, α-ketobutyrate and ammonia via homocysteine and cystathionine intermediates. Although, human and plant CGLs have been extensively studied at the molecular and mechanistic levels, there has been little work on the molecular and catalytic properties of fungal CGL. Herein, we studied in detail for the first time the molecular and catalytic stability of Aspergillus fumigatus CGL, since conformational instability, inactivation and structural antigenicity are the main limitations of the PLP-dependent enzymes on various therapeutic uses. We examined these properties in response to buffer compositions, stabilizing and destabilizing agents using Differential Scanning Fluorometery (DSF), steady state and gel-based fluorescence of the intrinsic hydrophobic core, stability of internal aldimine linkage and catalytic properties. The activity of the recombinant A. fumigatus CGL was 13.8U/mg. The melting temperature (Tm) of CGL in potassium phosphate buffer (pH 7.0-8.0) was 73.3°C, with ∼3°C upshifting in MES and sodium phosphate buffers (pH 7.0). The conformational thermal stability was increased in potassium phosphate, sodium phosphate and MES buffers, in contrast to Tris-HCl, HEPES (pH 7.0) and CAPS (pH 9.0-10.0). The thermal stability and activity of CGL was slightly increased in the presence of trehalose and glycerol that might be due to hydration of the enzyme backbone, unlike the denaturing effect of GdmCl and urea. Modification of surface CGL glutamic and aspartic acids had no significant effect on the enzyme conformational and catalytic stability. Molecular modeling and dynamics simulations unveil the high conformational stability of the overall scaffold of CGL with high flexibility at the non-structural regions. CGL structure has eight buried Trp residues, which are reoriented to the enzyme surface and get exposed to the solvent under perturbation

  6. Genetic Analysis Using an Isogenic Mating Pair of Aspergillus fumigatus Identifies Azole Resistance Genes and Lack of MAT Locus’s Role in Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Eckhaus, Michael A.; Chang, Yun C.; Mounaud, Stephanie; Figat, Abigail; Joardar, Vinita; Pakala, Suman B.; Pakala, Suchitra; Venepally, Pratap; Fedorova, Natalie; Nierman, William C.; Kwon-Chung, Kyung J.

    2015-01-01

    Invasive aspergillosis (IA) due to Aspergillus fumigatus is a major cause of mortality in immunocompromised patients. The discovery of highly fertile strains of A. fumigatus opened the possibility to merge classical and contemporary genetics to address key questions about this pathogen. The merger involves sexual recombination, selection of desired traits, and genomics to identify any associated loci. We constructed a highly fertile isogenic pair of A. fumigatus strains with opposite mating types and used them to investigate whether mating type is associated with virulence and to find the genetic loci involved in azole resistance. The pair was made isogenic by 9 successive backcross cycles of the foundational strain AFB62 (MAT1-1) with a highly fertile (MAT1-2) progeny. Genome sequencing showed that the F9 MAT1-2 progeny was essentially identical to the AFB62. The survival curves of animals infected with either strain in three different animal models showed no significant difference, suggesting that virulence in A. fumigatus was not associated with mating type. We then employed a relatively inexpensive, yet highly powerful strategy to identify genomic loci associated with azole resistance. We used traditional in vitro drug selection accompanied by classical sexual crosses of azole-sensitive with resistant isogenic strains. The offspring were plated under varying drug concentrations and pools of resulting colonies were analyzed by whole genome sequencing. We found that variants in 5 genes contributed to azole resistance, including mutations in erg11A (cyp51A), as well as multi-drug transporters, erg25, and in HMG-CoA reductase. The results demonstrated that with minimal investment into the sequencing of three pools from a cross of interest, the variation(s) that contribute any phenotype can be identified with nucleotide resolution. This approach can be applied to multiple areas of interest in A. fumigatus or other heterothallic pathogens, especially for virulence

  7. Azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus due to TR46/Y121F/T289A mutation emerging in Belgium, July 2012.

    PubMed

    Vermeulen, E; Maertens, J; Schoemans, H; Lagrou, K

    2012-01-01

    A new azole resistance mechanism in Aspergillus fumigatus consisting of a TR46/Y121F/T289A alteration in the cyp51A gene was recently described in the Netherlands. Strains containing these mutations are associated with invasive infection and therapy failure. This communication describes the first case of fatal invasive aspergillosis caused by TR46/Y121F/T289A outside the Netherlands, in the neighboring country of Belgium, suggesting geographical spread. TR46/Y121F/T289A leads to a recognisable phenotypic susceptibility pattern which should trigger cyp51A genotyping to monitor further spread. PMID:23218390

  8. in-silico characterization of β-(1, 3)-endoglucanase (ENGL1) from Aspergillus fumigatus by homology modeling and docking studies.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Rizwan; Jain, Swatantra Kumar; Shukla, Praveen Kumar

    2013-01-01

    During the past few years a significant rise in aspergillosis caused by filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus has been recorded particularly in immunocompromised patients. At present, there are limited numbers of antifungal agents to combat these infections and the situation has become more complex due to emergence of antifungal resistance and side-effects of antifungal drugs. These situations have increased the demand for novel drug targets. Recent studies have revealed that the β-1,3-endoglucanase (ENGL1) plays an essential role in cell wall remodeling that is absolutely required during growth and morphogenesis of filamentous fungi and thus is a promising target for the development of antifungal agents. Unfortunately no structural information of fungal β- glucanases has yet been available in the Protein Databank (PDB). Therefore in the present study, 3D structure of β-(1,3)- endoglucanase (ENGL1) was modeled by using I-TASSER server and validated with PROCHECK and VERIFY 3D. The best model was selected, energy minimized and used to analyze structure function relationship with substrate β-(1,3)-glucan by C-DOCKER (Accelrys DS 2.0). The results indicated that amino acids (GLU 380, GLN 383, ASP 384, TYR 395, SER 712, and ARG 713) present in β-1,3-endoglucanase receptor are of core importance for binding activities and these residues are having strong hydrogen bond interactions with β-(1,3)-glucan. The predicted model and docking studies permits initial inferences about the unexplored 3D structure of the β-(1,3)-endoglucanase and may be promote in relational designing of molecules for structure-function studies. PMID:24143049

  9. Characterization of gprK Encoding a Putative Hybrid G-Protein-Coupled Receptor in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Jung, Mun-Gu; Kim, Sung Su; Yu, Jae-Hyuk; Shin, Kwang-Soo

    2016-01-01

    The G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) family represents the largest and most varied collection of membrane embedded proteins that are sensitized by ligand binding and interact with heterotrimeric G proteins. Despite their presumed critical roles in fungal biology, the functions of the GPCR family members in the opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus are largely unknown, as only two (GprC and GprD) of the 15 predicted GPCRs have been studied. Here, we characterize the gprK gene, which is predicted to encode a hybrid GPCR with both 7-transmembrane and regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) domains. The deletion of gprK causes severely impaired asexual development coupled with reduced expression of key developmental activators. Moreover, ΔgprK results in hyper-activation of germination even in the absence of carbon source, and elevated expression and activity of the protein kinase A PkaC1. Furthermore, proliferation of the ΔgprK mutant is restricted on the medium when pentose is the sole carbon source, suggesting that GprK may function in external carbon source sensing. Notably, the absence of gprK results in reduced tolerance to oxidative stress and significantly lowered mRNA levels of the stress-response associated genes sakA and atfA. Activities of catalases and SODs are severely decreased in the ΔgprK mutant, indicating that GprK may function in proper activation of general stress response. The ΔgprK mutant is also defective in gliotoxin (GT) production and slightly less virulent toward the greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella. Transcriptomic studies reveal that a majority of transporters are down-regulated by ΔgprK. In summary, GprK is necessary for proper development, GT production, and oxidative stress response, and functions in down-regulating the PKA-germination pathway. PMID:27584150

  10. Evaluation of plasma (1-->3) beta-D-glucan concentrations in birds naturally and experimentally infected with aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Burco, Julia D; Ziccardi, Michael H; Clemons, Karl V; Tell, Lisa A

    2012-03-01

    Avian aspergillosis, most often caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, is a common and devastating disease affecting a range of bird species. Early diagnosis is difficult and often unreliable. The current study evaluated the utility of measuring (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan (BG) concentrations in avian plasma samples to aid in the diagnosis of aspergillosis. We evaluated a commercially available BG assay (Fungitell, Beacon Diagnostics) using 178 plasma samples from naturally infected, experimentally infected, and aspergillosis-free birds. Although there was variation in BG concentration, as reflected by high standard deviations, seabirds with confirmed aspergillosis had the highest mean BG concentrations (M = 3098.7 pg/dl, SD = 5022.6, n = 22) followed by companion avian species and raptors with confirmed aspergillosis (M = 1033.8 pg/dl, SD = 1531.6, n = 19) and experimentally infected Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica; M = 1066.5 pg/dl, SD = 1348.2, n = 17). Variation in severity of disease, differences among species of birds with and without disease, and also different levels in environmental exposure likely contribute to the differences among avian groups. The overall sensitivity and specificity of the BG test for diagnosis of aspergillosis in birds was 60.0 and 92.7%, respectively, with an overall optimized avian cut-offvalue of > or = 461 pg/dl for positive disease. Our findings suggest that, although BG concentrations are highly variable between and within different avian groups, it could serve as a useful adjunctive diagnostic test for aspergillosis that is applicable to multiple avian species in some settings, particularly as a negative predictor of infection.

  11. New untargeted metabolic profiling combining mass spectrometry and isotopic labeling: application on Aspergillus fumigatus grown on wheat.

    PubMed

    Cano, Patricia M; Jamin, Emilien L; Tadrist, Souria; Bourdaud'hui, Pascal; Péan, Michel; Debrauwer, Laurent; Oswald, Isabelle P; Delaforge, Marcel; Puel, Olivier

    2013-09-01

    Characterization of fungal secondary metabolomes has become a challenge due to the industrial applications of many of these molecules, and also due to the emergence of fungal threats to public health and natural ecosystems. Given that, the aim of the present study was to develop an untargeted method to analyze fungal secondary metabolomes by combining high-accuracy mass spectrometry and double isotopic labeling of fungal metabolomes. The strain NRRL 35693 of Aspergillus fumigatus , an important fungal pathogen, was grown on three wheat grain substrates: (1) naturally enriched grains (99% (12)C), (2) grains enriched 96.8% with (13)C, (3) grains enriched with 53.4% with (13)C and 96.8% with (15)N. Twenty-one secondary metabolites were unambiguously identified by high-performance liquid chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry (HPLC-HRMS) analysis. AntiBase 2012 was used to confirm the identity of these metabolites. Additionally, on the basis of tandem mass spectrometry (MS(n)) experiments, it was possible to identify for the first time the formula and the structure of fumigaclavine D, a new member of the fumigaclavines family. Post biosynthesis degradation of tryptoquivaline F by methanol was also identified during HPLC-HRMS analysis by the detection of a carbon atom of nonfungal origin. The interest of this method lies not only on the unambiguous determination of the exact chemical formulas of fungal secondary metabolites but also on the easy discrimination of nonfungal products. Validation of the method was thus successfully achieved in this study, and it can now be applied to other fungal metabolomes, offering great possibilities for the discovery of new drugs or toxins. PMID:23901908

  12. Metabolites from Aspergillus fumigatus, an endophytic fungus associated with Melia azedarach, and their antifungal, antifeedant, and toxic activities.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiao-Jun; Zhang, Qiang; Zhang, An-Ling; Gao, Jin-Ming

    2012-04-01

    Thirty-nine fungal metabolites 1-39, including two new alkaloids, 12β-hydroxy-13α-methoxyverruculogen TR-2 (6) and 3-hydroxyfumiquinazoline A (16), were isolated from the fermentation broth of Aspergillus fumigatus LN-4, an endophytic fungus isolated from the stem bark of Melia azedarach. Their structures were elucidated on the basis of detailed spectroscopic analysis (mass spectrometry and one- and two-dimensional NMR experiments) and by comparison of their NMR data with those reported in the literature. These isolated compounds were evaluated for in vitro antifungal activities against some phytopathogenic fungi, toxicity against brine shrimps, and antifeedant activities against armyworm larvae (Mythimna separata Walker). Among them, sixteen compounds showed potent antifungal activities against phytopathogenic fungi (Botrytis cinerea, Alternaria solani, Alternaria alternata, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, Fusarium solani, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum, and Gibberella saubinettii), and four of them, 12β-hydroxy-13α-methoxyverruculogen TR-2 (6), fumitremorgin B (7), verruculogen (8), and helvolic acid (39), exhibited antifungal activities with MIC values of 6.25-50 μg/mL, which were comparable to the two positive controls carbendazim and hymexazol. In addition, of eighteen that exerted moderate lethality toward brine shrimps, compounds 7 and 8 both showed significant toxicities with median lethal concentration (LC(50)) values of 13.6 and 15.8 μg/mL, respectively. Furthermore, among nine metabolites that were found to possess antifeedant activity against armyworm larvae, compounds 7 and 8 gave the best activity with antifeedant indexes (AFI) of 50.0% and 55.0%, respectively. Structure-activity relationships of the metabolites were also discussed. PMID:22409377

  13. Characterization of gprK Encoding a Putative Hybrid G-Protein-Coupled Receptor in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Mun-Gu; Kim, Sung Su; Yu, Jae-Hyuk; Shin, Kwang-Soo

    2016-01-01

    The G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) family represents the largest and most varied collection of membrane embedded proteins that are sensitized by ligand binding and interact with heterotrimeric G proteins. Despite their presumed critical roles in fungal biology, the functions of the GPCR family members in the opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus are largely unknown, as only two (GprC and GprD) of the 15 predicted GPCRs have been studied. Here, we characterize the gprK gene, which is predicted to encode a hybrid GPCR with both 7-transmembrane and regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) domains. The deletion of gprK causes severely impaired asexual development coupled with reduced expression of key developmental activators. Moreover, ΔgprK results in hyper-activation of germination even in the absence of carbon source, and elevated expression and activity of the protein kinase A PkaC1. Furthermore, proliferation of the ΔgprK mutant is restricted on the medium when pentose is the sole carbon source, suggesting that GprK may function in external carbon source sensing. Notably, the absence of gprK results in reduced tolerance to oxidative stress and significantly lowered mRNA levels of the stress-response associated genes sakA and atfA. Activities of catalases and SODs are severely decreased in the ΔgprK mutant, indicating that GprK may function in proper activation of general stress response. The ΔgprK mutant is also defective in gliotoxin (GT) production and slightly less virulent toward the greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella. Transcriptomic studies reveal that a majority of transporters are down-regulated by ΔgprK. In summary, GprK is necessary for proper development, GT production, and oxidative stress response, and functions in down-regulating the PKA-germination pathway. PMID:27584150

  14. Targeting Iron Acquisition Blocks Infection with the Fungal Pathogens Aspergillus fumigatus and Fusarium oxysporum

    PubMed Central

    Leal, Sixto M.; Roy, Sanhita; Vareechon, Chairut; Carrion, Steven deJesus; Clark, Heather; Lopez-Berges, Manuel S.; diPietro, Antonio; Schrettl, Marcus; Beckmann, Nicola; Redl, Bernhard; Haas, Hubertus; Pearlman, Eric

    2013-01-01

    Filamentous fungi are an important cause of pulmonary and systemic morbidity and mortality, and also cause corneal blindness and visual impairment worldwide. Utilizing in vitro neutrophil killing assays and a model of fungal infection of the cornea, we demonstrated that Dectin-1 dependent IL-6 production regulates expression of iron chelators, heme and siderophore binding proteins and hepcidin in infected mice. In addition, we show that human neutrophils synthesize lipocalin-1, which sequesters fungal siderophores, and that topical lipocalin-1 or lactoferrin restricts fungal growth in vivo. Conversely, we show that exogenous iron or the xenosiderophore deferroxamine enhances fungal growth in infected mice. By examining mutant Aspergillus and Fusarium strains, we found that fungal transcriptional responses to low iron levels and extracellular siderophores are essential for fungal growth during infection. Further, we showed that targeting fungal iron acquisition or siderophore biosynthesis by topical application of iron chelators or statins reduces fungal growth in the cornea by 60% and that dual therapy with the iron chelator deferiprone and statins further restricts fungal growth by 75%. Together, these studies identify specific host iron-chelating and fungal iron-acquisition mediators that regulate fungal growth, and demonstrate that therapeutic inhibition of fungal iron acquisition can be utilized to treat topical fungal infections. PMID:23853581

  15. Use of a Novel Panel of Nine Short Tandem Repeats for Exact and High-Resolution Fingerprinting of Aspergillus fumigatus Isolates

    PubMed Central

    de Valk, Hanneke A.; Meis, Jacques F. G. M.; Curfs, Ilse M.; Muehlethaler, Konrad; Mouton, Johan W.; Klaassen, Corné H. W.

    2005-01-01

    Here we describe a new panel of short tandem repeats (STRs) for a novel exact typing assay that can be used to discriminate between Aspergillus fumigatus isolates. A total of nine STR markers were selected from available genomic A. fumigatus sequences and were divided into three multicolor multiplex PCRs. Each multiplex reaction amplified three di-, tri-, or tetranucleotide repeats, respectively. All nine STR markers were used to analyze 100 presumably unrelated A. fumigatus isolates. For each marker, between 11 and 37 alleles were found in this population. One isolate proved to be a mixture of at least two different isolates. With the remaining 99 isolates, 96 different fingerprinting profiles were obtained. The Simpson's diversity index for the individual markers ranged from 0.77 to 0.97. The diversity index for the multiplex combination of di-, tri-, and tetranucleotide repeats ranged from 0.9784 to 0.9968. The combination of all nine markers yielded a Simpson's diversity index of 0.9994, indicative of the high discriminatory power of these new loci. In theory, this panel of markers is able to discriminate between no less than 27 × 109 different genotypes. The multicolor multiplex approach allows large numbers of markers to be tested in a short period of time. The exact nature of the assay combines high reproducibility with the easy exchange of results and makes it a very suitable tool for large-scale epidemiological studies. PMID:16081958

  16. Humoral and Cell-mediated Autoimmune Reactions to Human Acidic Ribosomal P2 Protein in Individuals Sensitized to Aspergillus fumigatus P2 Protein

    PubMed Central

    Mayer, Christina; Appenzeller, Ulrich; Seelbach, Heike; Achatz, Gernot; Oberkofler, Hannes; Breitenbach, Michael; Blaser, Kurt; Crameri, Reto

    1999-01-01

    A panel of cDNAs encoding allergenic proteins was isolated from an Aspergillus fumigatus cDNA library displayed on the surface of filamentous phage. Solid phase–immobilized serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) from A. fumigatus–allergic individuals was used to enrich phage displaying IgE-binding molecules. One of the cDNAs encoded a 11.1-kD protein that was identified as acidic ribosomal phosphoprotein type 2 (P2 protein). The allergen, formally termed rAsp f 8, shares >62% sequence identity and >84% sequence homology to corresponding eukaryotic P2 proteins, including human P2 protein. The sequences encoding human and fungal P2 protein were subcloned, expressed in Escherichia coli as His6-tagged fusion proteins, and purified by Ni2+–chelate affinity chromatography. Both recombinant P2 proteins were recognized by IgE antibodies from allergic individuals sensitized to the A. fumigatus P2 protein and elicited strong type 1–specific skin reactions in these individuals. Moreover, human and fungal P2 proteins induced proliferative responses in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of A. fumigatus– allergic subjects sensitized to the fungal P2 protein. These data provide strong evidence for in vitro and in vivo humoral and cell-mediated autoreactivity to human P2 protein in patients suffering from chronic A. fumigatus allergy. PMID:10224291

  17. Rapid, high-throughput, multiplex, real-time PCR for identification of mutations in the cyp51A gene of Aspergillus fumigatus that confer resistance to itraconazole.

    PubMed

    Balashov, Sergey V; Gardiner, Rebecca; Park, Steven; Perlin, David S

    2005-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an important cause of life-threatening invasive fungal disease in patients with compromised immune systems. Resistance to itraconazole in A. fumigatus is closely linked to amino acid substitutions in Cyp51A that replace Gly54. In an effort to develop a new class of molecular diagnostic assay that can rapidly assess drug resistance, a multiplexed assay was established. This assay uses molecular beacons corresponding to the wild-type cyp51A gene and seven mutant alleles encoding either Arg54, Lys54, Val54, Trp54, or Glu54. Molecular beacon structure design and real-time PCR conditions were optimized to increase the assay specificity. The multiplex assay was applied to the analysis of chromosomal DNA samples from a collection of 48 A. fumigatus clinical and laboratory-derived isolates, most with reduced susceptibility to itraconazole. The cyp51A allelic identities for codon 54 were established for all of the strains tested, and mutations altering Gly54 in 23 strains were revealed. These mutations included G(54)W (n = 1), G(54)E (n = 12), G(54)K (n = 3), G(54)R (n = 3), and G(54)V (n = 4). Molecular beacon assay results were confirmed by DNA sequencing. Multiplex real-time PCR with molecular beacons is a powerful technique for allele differentiation and analysis of resistance mutations that is dynamic and suitable for rapid high-throughput assessment of drug resistance.

  18. Multiplexed Activity-based Protein Profiling of the Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus Reveals Large Functional Changes upon Exposure to Human Serum*

    PubMed Central

    Wiedner, Susan D.; Burnum, Kristin E.; Pederson, LeeAnna M.; Anderson, Lindsey N.; Fortuin, Suereta; Chauvigné-Hines, Lacie M.; Shukla, Anil K.; Ansong, Charles; Panisko, Ellen A.; Smith, Richard D.; Wright, Aaron T.

    2012-01-01

    Environmental adaptability is critical for survival of the fungal human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus in the immunocompromised host lung. We hypothesized that exposure of the fungal pathogen to human serum would lead to significant alterations to the organism's physiology, including metabolic activity and stress response. Shifts in functional pathway and corresponding enzyme reactivity of A. fumigatus upon exposure to the human host may represent much needed prognostic indicators of fungal infection. To address this, we employed a multiplexed activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) approach coupled to quantitative mass spectrometry-based proteomics to measure broad enzyme reactivity of the fungus cultured with and without human serum. ABPP showed a shift from aerobic respiration to ethanol fermentation and utilization over time in the presence of human serum, which was not observed in serum-free culture. Our approach provides direct insight into this pathogen's ability to survive, adapt, and proliferate. Additionally, our multiplexed ABPP approach captured a broad swath of enzyme reactivity and functional pathways and provides a method for rapid assessment of the A. fumigatus response to external stimuli. PMID:22865858

  19. A novel mycovirus from Aspergillus fumigatus contains four unique dsRNAs as its genome and is infectious as dsRNA

    PubMed Central

    Kanhayuwa, Lakkhana; Kotta-Loizou, Ioly; Özkan, Selin; Gunning, A. Patrick; Coutts, Robert H. A.

    2015-01-01

    We report the discovery and characterization of a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) mycovirus isolated from the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus fumigatus tetramycovirus-1 (AfuTmV-1), which reveals several unique features not found previously in positive-strand RNA viruses, including the fact that it represents the first dsRNA (to our knowledge) that is not only infectious as a purified entity but also as a naked dsRNA. The AfuTmV-1 genome consists of four capped dsRNAs, the largest of which encodes an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) containing a unique GDNQ motif normally characteristic of negative-strand RNA viruses. The third largest dsRNA encodes an S-adenosyl methionine–dependent methyltransferase capping enzyme and the smallest dsRNA a P-A-S–rich protein that apparently coats but does not encapsidate the viral genome as visualized by atomic force microscopy. A combination of a capping enzyme with a picorna-like RdRP in the AfuTmV-1 genome is a striking case of chimerism and the first example (to our knowledge) of such a phenomenon. AfuTmV-1 appears to be intermediate between dsRNA and positive-strand ssRNA viruses, as well as between encapsidated and capsidless RNA viruses. PMID:26139522

  20. Loss of CclA, required for histone 3 lysine 4 methylation, decreases growth but increases secondary metabolite production in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Seul; Dagenais, Taylor R.T.; Andes, David R.; Kontoyiannis, Dimitrios P.

    2013-01-01

    Secondary metabolite (SM) production in filamentous fungi is mechanistically associated with chromatin remodeling of specific SM clusters. One locus recently shown to be involved in SM suppression in Aspergillus nidulans was CclA, a member of the histone 3 lysine 4 methylating COMPASS complex. Here we examine loss of CclA and a putative H3K4 demethylase, HdmA, in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Although deletion of hdmA showed no phenotype under the conditions tested, the cclA deletant was deficient in tri- and di-methylation of H3K4 and yielded a slowly growing strain that was rich in the production of several SMs, including gliotoxin. Similar to deletion of other chromatin modifying enzymes, ΔcclA was sensitive to 6-azauracil indicating a defect in transcriptional elongation. Despite the poor growth, the ΔcclA mutant had wild-type pathogenicity in a murine model and the Toll-deficient Drosophila model of invasive aspergillosis. These data indicate that tri- and di-methylation of H3K4 is involved in the regulation of several secondary metabolites in A. fumigatus, however does not contribute to pathogenicity under the conditions tested. PMID:23638376

  1. Prevention of corticosteroid-induced suppression of human polymorphonuclear leukocyte-induced damage of Aspergillus fumigatus hyphae by granulocyte colony-stimulating factor and gamma interferon.

    PubMed Central

    Roilides, E; Uhlig, K; Venzon, D; Pizzo, P A; Walsh, T J

    1993-01-01

    Neutrophils (PMNs) are a critical line of defense against Aspergillus fumigatus infection. Increased frequency of invasive aspergillosis has been observed in patients receiving corticosteroids, suggesting a deleterious effect of these compounds on PMN antifungal function. To investigate this hypothesis and to determine the potential preventive utility of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and gamma interferon (IFN-gamma), the effects of hydrocortisone (HCS) and dexamethasone (DXS) on PMN-induced damage of Aspergillus fumigatus hyphae were studied with or without pretreatment of PMNs with G-CSF and IFN-gamma. PMNs treated with HCS (> or = 3,000 microM) or DXS (> or = 10 microM) during a 2-h colorimetric tetrazolium metabolic assay (using methylthiotetrazolium) showed suppressed percentage of hyphal damage (P < 0.02). In addition, both HCS (> or = 30 microM) and DXS (> or = 1 microM) significantly suppressed oxidative burst measured as superoxide anion release by PMNs in response to opsonized and nonopsonized hyphae as well as to N-formylmethionyl leucyl phenylalanine. Pretreatment of PMNs with G-CSF (4,000 U/ml) and/or IFN-gamma (100 and 1,000 U/ml) for 90 min prevented the suppression of hyphal damage that occurred in the presence of HCS (3,000 microM; P < 0.01) or DXS (10 microM; P < or = 0.001). G-CSF (4,000 U/ml) and IFN-gamma (100 U/ml) combined had an additive effect on increasing the antifungal activity of HCS-treated but not of DXS-treated PMNs compared with IFN-gamma alone (P = 0.015). Thus, these findings reveal that corticosteroids impair PMN function in response to A. fumigatus and that G-CSF and IFN-gamma prevent this impairment. PMID:7691757

  2. Purification, immobilization, and biochemical characterization of l-arginine deiminase from thermophilic Aspergillus fumigatus KJ434941: anticancer activity in vitro.

    PubMed

    El-Sayed, Ashraf S A; Hassan, Mohamed N; Nada, Hend M S

    2015-01-01

    l-Arginine deiminase (ADI) has a powerful anticancer activity against various tumors, via arginine depletion, arresting the cell cycle at G1 phase. However, the current clinically tried bacterial ADI displayed a higher antigenicity and lower thermal stability. Thus, our objective was to purify and characterize this enzyme from thermophilic fungi, to explore its catalytic and antigenic properties for therapeutic uses. ADI was purified from thermophilic Aspergillus fumigatus KJ434941 to its electrophoretic homogeneity by 5.1-fold, with molecular subunit 50 kDa. The purified ADI was PEGylated and covalently immobilized on dextran to explore its catalytic properties. The specific activity of free ADI, PEG-ADI, and Dex-ADI was 26.7, 21.5, and 18.0 U/mg, respectively. At 50°C, PEG-ADI displays twofold resistance to thermal denaturation (t1/2 13.9 h), than free ADI (t1/2 6.9 h), while at 70°C, the thermal stability of PEG-ADI was increased by 1.7-fold, with similar stability to Dex-ADI with the free one. Kinetically, free ADI had the higher catalytic affinity to arginine, followed by PEG-ADI and Dex-ADI. Upon proteolysis for 30 min, the residual activity of native ADI, PEG-ADI, and Dex-AD was 8.0, 32.0, and 20.0% for proteinase K and 10.0, 52.0, and 90.0% for acid protease, respectively. The anticancer activity of the ADIs was assessed against HCT, HEP-G2, and MCF7, in vitro. The free and PEG-ADI exhibits a similar cytotoxic efficacy for the tested cells, lower than Dex-ADI. The free ADI had IC50 value 22.0, 16.6, and 13.9 U/mL, while Dex-ADI had 3.98, 5.18, and 4.43 U/mL for HCT, MCF7, and HEPG-2, respectively. The in vitro anticancer activity of ADI against HCT, MCF7, and HEPG-2 was increased by five-, three-, and threefold upon covalent modification by dextran. The biochemical and hematological parameters of the experimented animals were not affected by ADIs dosing, with no signs of anti-ADI immunoglobulins in vivo. The in vivo half-life time of free ADI, PEG

  3. Crude cellulase from oil palm empty fruit bunch by Trichoderma asperellum UPM1 and Aspergillus fumigatus UPM2 for fermentable sugars production.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, M F; Razak, M N A; Phang, L Y; Hassan, M A; Abd-Aziz, S

    2013-07-01

    Cellulase is an enzyme that converts the polymer structure of polysaccharides into fermentable sugars. The high market demand for this enzyme together with the variety of applications in the industry has brought the research on cellulase into focus. In this study, crude cellulase was produced from oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) pretreated with 2% NaOH with autoclave, which was composed of 59.7% cellulose, 21.6% hemicellulose, and 12.3% lignin using Trichoderma asperellum UPM1 and Aspergillus fumigatus UPM2. Approximately 0.8 U/ml of FPase, 24.7 U/ml of CMCase and 5.0 U/ml of β-glucosidase were produced by T. asperellum UPM1 at a temperature of 35 °C and at an initial pH of 7.0. A 1.7 U/ml of FPase, 24.2 U/ml of CMCase, and 1.1 U/ml of β-glucosidase were produced by A. fumigatus UPM2 at a temperature of 45 °C and at initial pH of 6.0. The crude cellulase was best produced at 1% of substrate concentration for both T. asperellum UPM1 and A. fumigatus UPM2. The hydrolysis percentage of pretreated OPEFB using 5% of crude cellulase concentration from T. asperellum UPM1 and A. fumigatus UPM2 were 3.33% and 19.11%, with the reducing sugars concentration of 1.47 and 8.63 g/l, respectively.

  4. Structure-Functional Characterization of Cytochrome P450 Sterol 14α-Demethylase (CYP51B) from Aspergillus fumigatus and Molecular Basis for the Development of Antifungal Drugs*

    PubMed Central

    Hargrove, Tatiana Y.; Wawrzak, Zdzislaw; Lamb, David C.; Guengerich, F. Peter; Lepesheva, Galina I.

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the opportunistic fungal pathogen that predominantly affects the immunocompromised population and causes 600,000 deaths/year. The cytochrome P450 51 (CYP51) inhibitor voriconazole is currently the drug of choice, yet the treatment efficiency remains low, calling for rational development of more efficient agents. A. fumigatus has two CYP51 genes, CYP51A and CYP51B, which share 59% amino acid sequence identity. CYP51B is expressed constitutively, whereas gene CYP51A is reported to be inducible. We expressed, purified, and characterized A. fumigatus CYP51B, including determination of its substrate preferences, catalytic parameters, inhibition, and x-ray structure in complexes with voriconazole and the experimental inhibitor (R)-N-(1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-2-(1H-imidazol-1-yl)ethyl)-4-(5-phenyl-1,3,4-oxadiazol-2-yl)benzamide (VNI). The enzyme demethylated its natural substrate eburicol and the plant CYP51 substrate obtusifoliol at steady-state rates of 17 and 16 min−1, respectively, but did not metabolize lanosterol, and the topical antifungal drug miconazole was the strongest inhibitor that we identified. The x-ray crystal structures displayed high overall similarity of A. fumigatus CYP51B to CYP51 orthologs from other biological kingdoms but revealed phylum-specific differences relevant to enzyme catalysis and inhibition. The complex with voriconazole provides an explanation for the potency of this relatively small molecule, whereas the complex with VNI outlines a direction for further enhancement of the efficiency of this new inhibitory scaffold to treat humans afflicted with filamentous fungal infections. PMID:26269599

  5. Identification and Deletion of Tft1, a Predicted Glycosyltransferase Necessary for Cell Wall β-1,3;1,4-Glucan Synthesis in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Samar, Danial; Kieler, Joshua B.; Klutts, J. Stacey

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an environmental mold that causes severe, often fatal invasive infections in immunocompromised patients. The search for new antifungal drug targets is critical, and the synthesis of the cell wall represents a potential area to find such a target. Embedded within the main β-1,3-glucan core of the A. fumigatus cell wall is a mixed linkage, β-D-(1,3;1,4)-glucan. The role of this molecule or how it is synthesized is unknown, though it comprises 10% of the glucans within the wall. While this is not a well-studied molecule in fungi, it has been studied in plants. Using the sequences of two plant mixed linkage glucan synthases, a single ortholog was identified in A. fumigatus (Tft1). A strain lacking this enzyme (tft1Δ) was generated along with revertant strains containing the native gene under the control of either the native or a strongly expressing promoter. Immunofluorescence staining with an antibody against β-(1,3;1,4)-glucan and biochemical quantification of this polysaccharide in the tft1Δ strain demonstrated complete loss of this molecule. Reintroduction of the gene into the knockout strain yielded reappearance in amounts that correlated with expected expression of the gene. The loss of Tft1 and mixed linkage glucan yielded no in vitro growth phenotype. However, there was a modest increase in virulence for the tft1Δ strain in a wax worm model. While the precise roles for β-(1,3;1,4)-glucan within A. fumigatus cell wall are still uncertain, it is clear that Tft1 plays a pivotal role in the biosynthesis of this cell wall polysaccharide. PMID:25723175

  6. Synergy, Pharmacodynamics, and Time-Sequenced Ultrastructural Changes of the Interaction between Nikkomycin Z and the Echinocandin FK463 against Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Chiou, Christine C.; Mavrogiorgos, Nikolaos; Tillem, Elizabeth; Hector, Richard; Walsh, Thomas J.

    2001-01-01

    We investigated the potential synergy between two cell wall-active agents, the echinocandin FK463 (FK) and the chitin synthase inhibitor nikkomycin Z (NZ), against 16 isolates of filamentous fungi. Susceptibility testing was performed with a broth macrodilution procedure by NCCLS methods. The median minimal effective concentration (MEC) of FK against all Aspergillus species was 0.25 μg/ml (range, 0.05 to 0.5 μg/ml). For Fusarium solani and Rhizopus oryzae, MECs of FK were >512 μg/ml. The median MEC of NZ against Aspergillus fumigatus was 32 μg/ml (range, 8 to 64 μg/ml), and that against R. oryzae was 0.5 μg/ml (range, 0.06 to 2 μg/ml); however, for the other Aspergillus species, as well as F. solani, MECs were >512 μg/ml. A checkerboard inhibitory assay demonstrated synergy against A. fumigatus (median fractional inhibitory concentration index = 0.312 [range, 0.15 to 0.475]). The effect was additive to indifferent against R. oryzae and indifferent against other Aspergillus spp. and F. solani. We further investigated the pharmacodynamics of hyphal damage by MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] assay and examined the time-sequenced changes in hyphal ultrastructure. Significant synergistic hyphal damage was demonstrated with the combination of NZ (2 to 32 μg/ml) and FK (0.03 to 0.5 μg/ml) over a wide range of concentrations (P < 0.001). The synergistic effect was most pronounced after 12 h of incubation and was sustained through 24 h. Time-sequenced light and electron microscopic studies demonstrated that structural alterations of hyphae were profound, with marked transformation of hyphae to blastospore-like structures, in the presence of FK plus NZ, while fungi treated with a single drug showed partial recovery at 24 h. The methods used in this study may be applicable to elucidating the activity and interaction of other cell wall-active agents. In summary, these two cell wall-targeted antifungal agents, FK and NZ, showed marked

  7. First Detection of TR46/Y121F/T289A and TR34/L98H Alterations in Aspergillus fumigatus Isolates from Azole-Naive Patients in Denmark despite Negative Findings in the Environment

    PubMed Central

    Astvad, K. M. T.; Jensen, R. H.; Hassan, T. M.; Mathiasen, E. G.; Thomsen, G. M.; Pedersen, U. G.; Christensen, M.; Hilberg, O.

    2014-01-01

    Azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus harboring the TR34/L98H or TR46/Y121F/T289A alterations is increasingly found in Europe and Asia. Here, we present the first clinical cases of TR46/Y121/T289A and three cases of TR34/L98H outside the cystic fibrosis (CF) population in Denmark and the results of environmental surveys. Four patients (2012 to 2014) with 11 A. fumigatus and 4 Rhizomucor pusillus isolates and 239 soil samples (spring 2010 and autumn 2013, respectively) with a total of 113 A. fumigatus isolates were examined. Aspergillus isolates were screened for azole resistance using azole-containing agar. Confirmatory susceptibility testing was done using the EUCAST microbroth dilution EDEF 9.1 reference method. For relevant A. fumigatus isolates, CYP51A sequencing and microsatellite genotyping were performed. Three patients harbored TR34/L98H isolates. Two were azole naive at the time of acquisition and two were coinfected with wild-type A. fumigatus or R. pusillus isolates, complicating and delaying diagnosis. The TR46/Y121F/T289A strain was isolated in 2014 from a lung transplant patient. Genotyping indicated that susceptible and resistant Aspergillus isolates were unrelated and that no transmission between patients occurred. Azole resistance was not detected in any of the 113 soil isolates. TR34/L98H and TR46/Y121F/T289A alterations appear to be emerging in the clinical setting in Denmark and now involve azole-naive patients. Two recent soil-sampling surveys in Denmark were unable to indicate any increased prevalence of azole-resistant A. fumigatus in the environment. These findings further support the demand for real-time susceptibility testing of all clinically relevant isolates and for studies investigating the seasonal variation and ecological niches for azole-resistant environmental A. fumigatus. PMID:24936595

  8. First detection of TR46/Y121F/T289A and TR34/L98H alterations in Aspergillus fumigatus isolates from azole-naive patients in Denmark despite negative findings in the environment.

    PubMed

    Astvad, K M T; Jensen, R H; Hassan, T M; Mathiasen, E G; Thomsen, G M; Pedersen, U G; Christensen, M; Hilberg, O; Arendrup, M C

    2014-09-01

    Azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus harboring the TR34/L98H or TR46/Y121F/T289A alterations is increasingly found in Europe and Asia. Here, we present the first clinical cases of TR46/Y121/T289A and three cases of TR34/L98H outside the cystic fibrosis (CF) population in Denmark and the results of environmental surveys. Four patients (2012 to 2014) with 11 A. fumigatus and 4 Rhizomucor pusillus isolates and 239 soil samples (spring 2010 and autumn 2013, respectively) with a total of 113 A. fumigatus isolates were examined. Aspergillus isolates were screened for azole resistance using azole-containing agar. Confirmatory susceptibility testing was done using the EUCAST microbroth dilution EDEF 9.1 reference method. For relevant A. fumigatus isolates, CYP51A sequencing and microsatellite genotyping were performed. Three patients harbored TR34/L98H isolates. Two were azole naive at the time of acquisition and two were coinfected with wild-type A. fumigatus or R. pusillus isolates, complicating and delaying diagnosis. The TR46/Y121F/T289A strain was isolated in 2014 from a lung transplant patient. Genotyping indicated that susceptible and resistant Aspergillus isolates were unrelated and that no transmission between patients occurred. Azole resistance was not detected in any of the 113 soil isolates. TR34/L98H and TR46/Y121F/T289A alterations appear to be emerging in the clinical setting in Denmark and now involve azole-naive patients. Two recent soil-sampling surveys in Denmark were unable to indicate any increased prevalence of azole-resistant A. fumigatus in the environment. These findings further support the demand for real-time susceptibility testing of all clinically relevant isolates and for studies investigating the seasonal variation and ecological niches for azole-resistant environmental A. fumigatus. PMID:24936595

  9. Characterization of homocysteine γ-lyase from submerged and solid cultures of Aspergillus fumigatus ASH (JX006238).

    PubMed

    El-Sayed, Ashraf S; Khalaf, Salwa A; Aziz, Hani A

    2013-04-01

    Among 25 isolates, Aspergillus fumigatus ASH (JX006238) was identified as a potent producer of homocysteine gamma- lyase. The nutritional requirements to maximize the enzyme yield were optimized under submerged (SF) and solid-state fermentation (SSF) conditions, resulting in a 5.2- and 2.3-fold increase, respectively, after the last purification step. The enzyme exhibited a single homogenous band of 50 kDa on SDS-PAGE, along with an optimum pH of 7.8 and pH stability range of 6.5 to 7.8. It also showed a pI of 5.0, as detected by pH precipitation with no glycosyl residues. The highest enzyme activity was obtained at 37-40 degrees C, with a Tm value of 70.1 degrees C. The enzyme showed clear catalytic and thermal stability below 40 degrees C, with T1/2 values of 18.1, 9.9, 5.9, 3.3, and 1.9 h at 30 degrees C, 35 degrees C, 40 degrees C, 50 degrees C, and 60 degrees C, respectively. Additionally, the enzyme Kr values were 0.002, 0.054, 0.097, 0.184, and 0.341 S-1 at 30 degrees C, 35 degrees C, 40 degrees C, 50 degrees C, and 60 degrees C, respectively. The enzyme displayed a strong affinity to homocysteine, followed by methionine and cysteine when compared with non-S amino acids, confirming its potency against homocysteinuriarelated diseases, and as an anti-cardiovascular agent and a specific biosensor for homocysteinuria. The enzyme showed its maximum affinity for homocysteine (Km 2.46 mM, Kcat 1.39 × 10(-3) s(-1)), methionine (Km 4.1 mM, Kcat 0.97 × 10(-3) s(-1)), and cysteine (Km 4.9 m M, Kcat 0.77 × 10(-3) s(-1)). The enzyme was also strongly inhibited by hydroxylamine and DDT, confirming its pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) identity, yet not inhibited by EDTA. In vivo, using Swiss Albino mice, the enzyme showed no detectable negative effects on platelet aggregation, the RBC number, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, or creatinine titer when compared with negative controls. PMID:23568204

  10. Characterization of homocysteine γ-lyase from submerged and solid cultures of Aspergillus fumigatus ASH (JX006238).

    PubMed

    El-Sayed, Ashraf S; Khalaf, Salwa A; Aziz, Hani A

    2013-04-01

    Among 25 isolates, Aspergillus fumigatus ASH (JX006238) was identified as a potent producer of homocysteine gamma- lyase. The nutritional requirements to maximize the enzyme yield were optimized under submerged (SF) and solid-state fermentation (SSF) conditions, resulting in a 5.2- and 2.3-fold increase, respectively, after the last purification step. The enzyme exhibited a single homogenous band of 50 kDa on SDS-PAGE, along with an optimum pH of 7.8 and pH stability range of 6.5 to 7.8. It also showed a pI of 5.0, as detected by pH precipitation with no glycosyl residues. The highest enzyme activity was obtained at 37-40 degrees C, with a Tm value of 70.1 degrees C. The enzyme showed clear catalytic and thermal stability below 40 degrees C, with T1/2 values of 18.1, 9.9, 5.9, 3.3, and 1.9 h at 30 degrees C, 35 degrees C, 40 degrees C, 50 degrees C, and 60 degrees C, respectively. Additionally, the enzyme Kr values were 0.002, 0.054, 0.097, 0.184, and 0.341 S-1 at 30 degrees C, 35 degrees C, 40 degrees C, 50 degrees C, and 60 degrees C, respectively. The enzyme displayed a strong affinity to homocysteine, followed by methionine and cysteine when compared with non-S amino acids, confirming its potency against homocysteinuriarelated diseases, and as an anti-cardiovascular agent and a specific biosensor for homocysteinuria. The enzyme showed its maximum affinity for homocysteine (Km 2.46 mM, Kcat 1.39 × 10(-3) s(-1)), methionine (Km 4.1 mM, Kcat 0.97 × 10(-3) s(-1)), and cysteine (Km 4.9 m M, Kcat 0.77 × 10(-3) s(-1)). The enzyme was also strongly inhibited by hydroxylamine and DDT, confirming its pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) identity, yet not inhibited by EDTA. In vivo, using Swiss Albino mice, the enzyme showed no detectable negative effects on platelet aggregation, the RBC number, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, or creatinine titer when compared with negative controls.

  11. Detection of Aspergillus fumigatus in a rat model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis by real-time nucleic acid sequence-based amplification.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yanan; Park, Steven; Warn, Peter; Shrief, Raghdaa; Harrison, Elizabeth; Perlin, David S

    2010-04-01

    Rapid and sensitive detection of Aspergillus from clinical samples may facilitate the early diagnosis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). A real-time nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA) method was investigated by use of an inhalational rat model of IPA. Immunosuppressed male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to Aspergillus fumigatus spores for an hour in an aerosol chamber. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, lung tissues, and whole blood were collected from five infected rats at 1, 24, 48, 72, and 96 h postinfection and five uninfected rats at the end of the experiment. Total nucleic acid (TNA) was extracted on an easyMAG instrument. A primer-molecular beacon set targeting 28S rRNA was designed to detect Aspergillus spp. The results were compared to those of quantitative PCR (qPCR) (18S rDNA) and quantitative culture. The analytical sensitivity of the real-time NASBA assay was <1 CFU/assay. A linear range of detection was demonstrated over 5 log units of conidia (10 to 10(5) spores). Both NASBA and qPCR showed a progressive increase in lung tissue burdens, while the CFU counts were stable over time. The fungal burdens in BAL fluid were more variable and not indicative of a progressive infection. The results of both real-time assays correlated well for both sample types (r = 0.869 and P < 0.0001 for lung tissue, r = 0.887 and P < 0.0001 for BAL fluid). For all whole-blood specimens, NASBA identified Aspergillus-positive samples in the group from which samples were collected at 72 h postinfection (three of five samples) and the group from which samples were collected at 96 h postinfection (five of five samples), but no positive results were obtained by culture or PCR. Real-time NASBA is highly sensitive and useful for the detection of Aspergillus in an experimental model of IPA. PMID:20129972

  12. Detection of Aspergillus fumigatus in a rat model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis by real-time nucleic acid sequence-based amplification.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yanan; Park, Steven; Warn, Peter; Shrief, Raghdaa; Harrison, Elizabeth; Perlin, David S

    2010-04-01

    Rapid and sensitive detection of Aspergillus from clinical samples may facilitate the early diagnosis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). A real-time nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA) method was investigated by use of an inhalational rat model of IPA. Immunosuppressed male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to Aspergillus fumigatus spores for an hour in an aerosol chamber. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, lung tissues, and whole blood were collected from five infected rats at 1, 24, 48, 72, and 96 h postinfection and five uninfected rats at the end of the experiment. Total nucleic acid (TNA) was extracted on an easyMAG instrument. A primer-molecular beacon set targeting 28S rRNA was designed to detect Aspergillus spp. The results were compared to those of quantitative PCR (qPCR) (18S rDNA) and quantitative culture. The analytical sensitivity of the real-time NASBA assay was <1 CFU/assay. A linear range of detection was demonstrated over 5 log units of conidia (10 to 10(5) spores). Both NASBA and qPCR showed a progressive increase in lung tissue burdens, while the CFU counts were stable over time. The fungal burdens in BAL fluid were more variable and not indicative of a progressive infection. The results of both real-time assays correlated well for both sample types (r = 0.869 and P < 0.0001 for lung tissue, r = 0.887 and P < 0.0001 for BAL fluid). For all whole-blood specimens, NASBA identified Aspergillus-positive samples in the group from which samples were collected at 72 h postinfection (three of five samples) and the group from which samples were collected at 96 h postinfection (five of five samples), but no positive results were obtained by culture or PCR. Real-time NASBA is highly sensitive and useful for the detection of Aspergillus in an experimental model of IPA.

  13. Diffusible component from the spore surface of the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus which inhibits the macrophage oxidative burst is distinct from gliotoxin and other hyphal toxins

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, C. G.; Slight, J.; Donaldson, K.

    1997-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, whose spores are present ubiquitously in the air, causes a range of diseases in the human lung. A small molecular weight (< 10 kD) heat stable toxin released from the spores of clinical and environmental isolates of A fumigatus within minutes of deposition in aqueous solution has previously been described. A key effect of the toxin was to inhibit the oxidative burst of macrophages as measured by superoxide anion release. It was hypothesised that the toxin was one of the commonly found A fumigatus hyphal toxins such as gliotoxin. This inhibitor may be an important factor which allows the fungus to colonise the lung. METHODS: The spore derived inhibitor was shown to inhibit the respiratory burst of rat alveolar macrophages, as measured by the generation of superoxide anion. Samples of the spore diffusate were subject to reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), thin layer chromatography (TLC), high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC), or organic extraction followed by TLC or HPLC to identify the presence of gliotoxin, fumagillin, helvolic acid, fumigaclavine-C, and aurasperone-C. Commercially obtained preparations of the toxins gliotoxin, fumagillin and helvolic acid and extracts enriched for fumigaclavine-C and aurasperone-C were used as internal and external standards and in the respiratory burst measurements. RESULTS: Gliotoxin, fumagillin, helvolic acid, fumigaclavine-C, and aurasperone- C were not detected in spore derived diffusate using PHLC or TLC. Using extraction procedures with solvents known to extract gliotoxin from A fumigatus culture supernatants, no gliotoxin was detected in the spore derived diffusate. Commercial gliotoxin, fumagillin, and helvolic acid or extracts enriched for fumigaclavine-C and aurasperone-C did not inhibit the oxidative burst of macrophages. CONCLUSIONS: The hypothesis that the spore derived toxin is one of the toxins derived from hyphae such as gliotoxin

  14. Filamentous fungal-specific septin AspE is phosphorylated in vivo and interacts with actin, tubulin and other septins in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    SciTech Connect

    Juvvadi, Praveen Rao; Belina, Detti; Soderblom, Erik J.; Moseley, M. Arthur; Steinbach, William J.

    2013-02-15

    Highlights: ► In vivo interactions of the novel septin AspE were identified by GFP-Trap® affinity purification. ► Septins AspA, AspB, AspC and AspD interacted with AspE in vivo. ► Actin and tubulin interacted with AspE in vivo. ► AspE is phosphorylated at six serine residues in vivo. -- Abstract: We previously analyzed the differential localization patterns of five septins (AspA–E), including a filamentous fungal-specific septin, AspE, in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Here we utilized the A. fumigatus strain expressing an AspE–EGFP fusion protein and show that this novel septin with a tubular localization pattern in hyphae is phosphorylated in vivo and interacts with the other septins, AspA, AspB, AspC and AspD. The other major proteins interacting with AspE included the cytoskeletal proteins, actin and tubulin, which may be involved in the organization and transport of the septins. This is the first report analyzing the phosphorylation of AspE and localizing the sites of phosphorylation, and opens opportunities for further analysis on the role of post-translational modifications in the assembly and organization of A. fumigatus septins. This study also describes the previously unknown interaction of AspE with the actin-microtubule network. Furthermore, the novel GFP-Trap® affinity purification method used here complements widely-used GFP localization studies in fungal systems.

  15. Hyperspectral Imaging Using Intracellular Spies: Quantitative Real-Time Measurement of Intracellular Parameters In Vivo during Interaction of the Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus with Human Monocytes

    PubMed Central

    Mohebbi, Sara; Erfurth, Florian; Hennersdorf, Philipp; Brakhage, Axel A.; Saluz, Hans Peter

    2016-01-01

    Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) is a technique based on the combination of classical spectroscopy and conventional digital image processing. It is also well suited for the biological assays and quantitative real-time analysis since it provides spectral and spatial data of samples. The method grants detailed information about a sample by recording the entire spectrum in each pixel of the whole image. We applied HSI to quantify the constituent pH variation in a single infected apoptotic monocyte as a model system. Previously, we showed that the human-pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus conidia interfere with the acidification of phagolysosomes. Here, we extended this finding to monocytes and gained a more detailed analysis of this process. Our data indicate that melanised A. fumigatus conidia have the ability to interfere with apoptosis in human monocytes as they enable the apoptotic cell to recover from mitochondrial acidification and to continue with the cell cycle. We also showed that this ability of A. fumigatus is dependent on the presence of melanin, since a non-pigmented mutant did not stop the progression of apoptosis and consequently, the cell did not recover from the acidic pH. By conducting the current research based on the HSI, we could measure the intracellular pH in an apoptotic infected human monocyte and show the pattern of pH variation during 35 h of measurements. As a conclusion, we showed the importance of melanin for determining the fate of intracellular pH in a single apoptotic cell. PMID:27727286

  16. A Putative Mitochondrial Iron Transporter MrsA in Aspergillus fumigatus Plays Important Roles in Azole-, Oxidative Stress Responses and Virulence.

    PubMed

    Long, Nanbiao; Xu, Xiaoling; Qian, Hui; Zhang, Shizhu; Lu, Ling

    2016-01-01

    Iron is an essential nutrient and enzyme co-factor required for a wide range of cellular processes, especially for the function of mitochondria. For the opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus, the ability to obtain iron is required for growth and virulence during the infection process. However, knowledge of how mitochondria are involved in iron regulation is still limited. Here, we show that a mitochondrial iron transporter, MrsA, a homolog of yeast Mrs4p, is critical for adaptation to iron-limited or iron-excess conditions in A. fumigatus. Deletion of mrsA leads to disruption of iron homeostasis with a decreased sreA expression, resulted in activated reductive iron assimilation (RIA) and siderophore-mediated iron acquisition (SIA). Furthermore, deletion of mrsA induces hypersusceptibility to azole and oxidative stresses. An assay for cellular ROS content in ΔmrsA combined with rescue from the mrsA-defective phenotype by the antioxidant reagent L-ascorbic acid indicates that the increased sensitivity of ΔmrsA to the azole itraconazole and to oxidative stress is mainly the result of abnormal ROS accumulation. Moreover, site-directed mutation experiments verified that three conserved histidine residues related to iron transport in MrsA are required for responses to oxidative and azole stresses. Importantly, ΔmrsA causes significant attenuation of virulence in an immunocompromised murine model of aspergillosis. Collectively, our results show that the putative mitochondrial iron transporter MrsA plays important roles in azole- and oxidative-stress responses and virulence by regulating the balance of cellular iron in A. fumigatus. PMID:27433157

  17. A Putative Mitochondrial Iron Transporter MrsA in Aspergillus fumigatus Plays Important Roles in Azole-, Oxidative Stress Responses and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Long, Nanbiao; Xu, Xiaoling; Qian, Hui; Zhang, Shizhu; Lu, Ling

    2016-01-01

    Iron is an essential nutrient and enzyme co-factor required for a wide range of cellular processes, especially for the function of mitochondria. For the opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus, the ability to obtain iron is required for growth and virulence during the infection process. However, knowledge of how mitochondria are involved in iron regulation is still limited. Here, we show that a mitochondrial iron transporter, MrsA, a homolog of yeast Mrs4p, is critical for adaptation to iron-limited or iron-excess conditions in A. fumigatus. Deletion of mrsA leads to disruption of iron homeostasis with a decreased sreA expression, resulted in activated reductive iron assimilation (RIA) and siderophore-mediated iron acquisition (SIA). Furthermore, deletion of mrsA induces hypersusceptibility to azole and oxidative stresses. An assay for cellular ROS content in ΔmrsA combined with rescue from the mrsA-defective phenotype by the antioxidant reagent L-ascorbic acid indicates that the increased sensitivity of ΔmrsA to the azole itraconazole and to oxidative stress is mainly the result of abnormal ROS accumulation. Moreover, site-directed mutation experiments verified that three conserved histidine residues related to iron transport in MrsA are required for responses to oxidative and azole stresses. Importantly, ΔmrsA causes significant attenuation of virulence in an immunocompromised murine model of aspergillosis. Collectively, our results show that the putative mitochondrial iron transporter MrsA plays important roles in azole- and oxidative-stress responses and virulence by regulating the balance of cellular iron in A. fumigatus. PMID:27433157

  18. H-ficolin binds Aspergillus fumigatus leading to activation of the lectin complement pathway and modulation of lung epithelial immune responses.

    PubMed

    Bidula, Stefan; Sexton, Darren W; Yates, Matthew; Abdolrasouli, Alireza; Shah, Anand; Wallis, Russell; Reed, Anna; Armstrong-James, Darius; Schelenz, Silke

    2015-10-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic fungal pathogen that typically infects the lungs of immunocompromised patients leading to a high mortality. H-Ficolin, an innate immune opsonin, is produced by type II alveolar epithelial cells and could participate in lung defences against infections. Here, we used the human type II alveolar epithelial cell line, A549, to determine the involvement of H-ficolin in fungal defence. Additionally, we investigated the presence of H-ficolin in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from transplant patients during pneumonia. H-Ficolin exhibited demonstrable binding to A. fumigatus conidia via l-fucose, d-mannose and N-acetylglucosamine residues in a calcium- and pH-dependent manner. Moreover, recognition led to lectin complement pathway activation and enhanced fungal association with A549 cells. Following recognition, H-ficolin opsonization manifested an increase in interleukin-8 production from A549 cells, which involved activation of the intracellular signalling pathways mitogen-activated protein kinase MAPK kinase 1/2, p38 MAPK and c-Jun N-terminal kinase. Finally, H-ficolin concentrations were significantly higher in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of patients with lung infections compared with control subjects (n = 16; P = 0·00726). Receiver operating characteristics curve analysis further highlighted the potential of H-ficolin as a diagnostic marker for lung infection (area under the curve = 0·77; P < 0·0001). Hence, H-ficolin participates in A. fumigatus defence through the activation of the lectin complement pathway, enhanced fungus-host interactions and modulated immune responses.

  19. Impact of portable air filtration units on exposure of haematology-oncology patients to airborne Aspergillus fumigatus spores under field conditions.

    PubMed

    Engelhart, S; Hanfland, J; Glasmacher, A; Krizek, L; Schmidt-Wolf, I G H; Exner, M

    2003-08-01

    We undertook a one-year study to investigate the impact of the NSA model 7100A/B portable air filtration unit on exposure of haematology-oncology patients to airborne Aspergillus fumigatus spores under field conditions. Weekly measurements for airborne A. fumigatus were conducted in indoor and outdoor air, and surveillance for invasive aspergillosis was based on a combination of ward liaison, targeted chart review and consultation with the medical staff. The mean indoor A. fumigatus counts (8.1 cfu/m3; range, <0.8 to 42 cfu/m3) reflected the fungal load of outdoor air (9.4 cfu/m3; range, <0.8 to 50 cfu/m3), and were reduced by only about one third in rooms with portable air filtration units (5.3 cfu/m3; range, <0.8 to 41 cfu/m3). During the study period, a total of five cases (incidence density, 0.8 per 1000 patient-days) of invasive aspergillosis (one proven case, four suspected cases; case fatality rate 40%) were recorded. None of these five patients was allocated to a room with portable air filtration unit, however, the difference between incidence densities in rooms with and without portable air filtration units was non-significant (Fisher's exact test, P=0.33). Due to the noise level and thermal discomfort, patient compliance with the air filtration units was poor. We conclude that under field conditions this air filtration unit cannot be recommended for prevention of invasive aspergillosis in neutropenic haematology-oncology patients.

  20. Liposomal Amphotericin B and Echinocandins as Monotherapy or Sequential or Concomitant Therapy in Murine Disseminated and Pulmonary Aspergillus fumigatus Infections ▿

    PubMed Central

    Olson, Jon A.; George, Ancy; Constable, David; Smith, Peter; Proffitt, Richard T.; Adler-Moore, Jill P.

    2010-01-01

    Monotherapy and combination therapy were compared using optimal doses of liposomal amphotericin B, micafungin, or caspofungin in Aspergillus fumigatus pulmonary and disseminated infections. Mice were challenged intravenously (2.8 × 104 to 5.7 × 104 conidia) or intranasally (5.8 × 107 conidia) with A. fumigatus. Drugs (5, 10, or 15 mg/kg of body weight) were given for 3 or 6 days as single, concomitant, or sequential therapy (i.e., days 1 to 3 and then days 4 to 6). Mice were monitored for survival, and tissues were assayed for fungal burden and drug concentrations. Treatments starting 24 h postchallenge significantly prolonged survival in disseminated aspergillosis (P < 0.002), but only liposomal amphotericin B treatments or treatments beginning with liposomal amphotericin B increased survival to 100% in the pulmonary aspergillosis model. Fungi in kidneys and spleens (disseminated) and lungs (pulmonary) were significantly decreased (P ≤ 0.04) by liposomal amphotericin B, liposomal amphotericin B plus echinocandin, or liposomal amphotericin B prior to echinocandin. In the disseminated infection, liposomal amphotericin B and micafungin (10 or 15 mg/kg) had similar kidney drug levels, while in the spleen, 5 and 15 mg/kg liposomal amphotericin B gave higher drug levels than micafungin (P < 0.02). In the pulmonary infection, drug levels in lungs and spleen with 5-mg/kg dosing were significantly higher with liposomal amphotericin B than with caspofungin (P ≤ 0.002). In summary, treatment of A. fumigatus infections with liposomal amphotericin B plus echinocandin or liposomal amphotericin B prior to echinocandin was as effective as liposomal amphotericin B alone, and a greater decrease in the fungal burden with liposomal amphotericin B supports using liposomal amphotericin B prior to echinocandin. PMID:20606065

  1. Caspofungin Treatment of Aspergillus fumigatus Results in ChsG-Dependent Upregulation of Chitin Synthesis and the Formation of Chitin-Rich Microcolonies

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Louise A.; Lee, Keunsook K.; Munro, Carol A.

    2015-01-01

    Treatment of Aspergillus fumigatus with echinocandins such as caspofungin inhibits the synthesis of cell wall β-1,3-glucan, which triggers a compensatory stimulation of chitin synthesis. Activation of chitin synthesis can occur in response to sub-MICs of caspofungin and to CaCl2 and calcofluor white (CFW), agonists of the protein kinase C (PKC), and Ca2+-calcineurin signaling pathways. A. fumigatus mutants with the chs gene (encoding chitin synthase) deleted (ΔAfchs) were tested for their response to these agonists to determine the chitin synthase enzymes that were required for the compensatory upregulation of chitin synthesis. Only the ΔAfchsG mutant was hypersensitive to caspofungin, and all other ΔAfchs mutants tested remained capable of increasing their chitin content in response to treatment with CaCl2 and CFW and caspofungin. The resulting increase in cell wall chitin content correlated with reduced susceptibility to caspofungin in the wild type and all ΔAfchs mutants tested, with the exception of the ΔAfchsG mutant, which remained sensitive to caspofungin. In vitro exposure to the chitin synthase inhibitor, nikkomycin Z, along with caspofungin demonstrated synergistic efficacy that was again AfChsG dependent. Dynamic imaging using microfluidic perfusion chambers demonstrated that treatment with sub-MIC caspofungin resulted initially in hyphal tip lysis. However, thickened hyphae emerged that formed aberrant microcolonies in the continued presence of caspofungin. In addition, intrahyphal hyphae were formed in response to echinocandin treatment. These in vitro data demonstrate that A. fumigatus has the potential to survive echinocandin treatment in vivo by AfChsG-dependent upregulation of chitin synthesis. Chitin-rich cells may, therefore, persist in human tissues and act as the focus for breakthrough infections. PMID:26169407

  2. The three-dimensional structure of the cellobiohydrolase Cel7A from Aspergillus fumigatus at 1.5 Å resolution.

    PubMed

    Moroz, Olga V; Maranta, Michelle; Shaghasi, Tarana; Harris, Paul V; Wilson, Keith S; Davies, Gideon J

    2015-01-01

    The enzymatic degradation of plant cell-wall cellulose is central to many industrial processes, including second-generation biofuel production. Key players in this deconstruction are the fungal cellobiohydrolases (CBHs), notably those from family GH7 of the carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZY) database, which are generally known as CBHI enzymes. Here, three-dimensional structures are reported of the Aspergillus fumigatus CBHI Cel7A solved in uncomplexed and disaccharide-bound forms at resolutions of 1.8 and 1.5 Å, respectively. The product complex with a disaccharide in the +1 and +2 subsites adds to the growing three-dimensional insight into this family of industrially relevant biocatalysts. PMID:25615982

  3. Application of ZnO Nanoparticles for Improving the Thermal and pH Stability of Crude Cellulase Obtained from Aspergillus fumigatus AA001

    PubMed Central

    Srivastava, Neha; Srivastava, Manish; Mishra, P. K.; Ramteke, Pramod W.

    2016-01-01

    Cellulases are the enzymes which are responsible for the hydrolysis of cellulosic biomass. In this study thermal and pH stability of crude cellulase has been investigated in the presence of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles. We synthesized ZnO nanoparticle by sol-gel method and characterized through various techniques including, X-ray Diffraction, ultraviolet-visible spectroscope, field emission scanning electron microscope and high resolution scanning electron microscope. The crude thermostable cellulase has been obtained from the Aspergillus fumigatus AA001 and treated with ZnO nanoparticle which shows thermal stability at 65°C up to 10 h whereas it showed pH stability in the alkaline pH range and retained its 53% of relative activity at pH 10.5. These findings may be promising in the area of biofuels production. PMID:27148203

  4. The three-dimensional structure of the cellobiohydrolase Cel7A from Aspergillus fumigatus at 1.5 Å resolution.

    PubMed

    Moroz, Olga V; Maranta, Michelle; Shaghasi, Tarana; Harris, Paul V; Wilson, Keith S; Davies, Gideon J

    2015-01-01

    The enzymatic degradation of plant cell-wall cellulose is central to many industrial processes, including second-generation biofuel production. Key players in this deconstruction are the fungal cellobiohydrolases (CBHs), notably those from family GH7 of the carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZY) database, which are generally known as CBHI enzymes. Here, three-dimensional structures are reported of the Aspergillus fumigatus CBHI Cel7A solved in uncomplexed and disaccharide-bound forms at resolutions of 1.8 and 1.5 Å, respectively. The product complex with a disaccharide in the +1 and +2 subsites adds to the growing three-dimensional insight into this family of industrially relevant biocatalysts.

  5. FtmOx1, a non-heme Fe(II) and alpha-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase, catalyses the endoperoxide formation of verruculogen in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Steffan, Nicola; Grundmann, Alexander; Afiyatullov, Shamil; Ruan, Hanli; Li, Shu-Ming

    2009-10-01

    Verruculogen is a tremorgenic mycotoxin and contains an endoperoxide bond. In this study, we describe the cloning, overexpression and purification of a non-heme Fe(ii) and alpha-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase FtmOx1 from Aspergillus fumigatus, which catalyses the conversion of fumitremorgin B to verruculogen by inserting an endoperoxide bond between two prenyl moieties. Incubation with (18)O(2)-enriched atmosphere demonstrated that both oxygen atoms of the endoperoxide bond are derived from one molecule of O(2). FtmOx1 is the first endoperoxide-forming non-heme Fe(ii) and alpha-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase reported so far. A mechanism of FtmOx1-catalysed verruculogen formation is postulated and discussed. PMID:19763315

  6. Novel mammalian cell cycle inhibitors, tryprostatins A, B and other diketopiperazines produced by Aspergillus fumigatus. I. Taxonomy, fermentation, isolation and biological properties.

    PubMed

    Cui, C B; Kakeya, H; Okada, G; Onose, R; Osada, H

    1996-06-01

    Two novel diketopiperazines named tryprostatins A (1) and B (2) and a new natural product belonging to the diketopiperazine series, designated as demethoxyfumitremorgin C (3), together with four known diketopiperazines, fumitremorgin C (4), 12,13-dihydroxyfumitremorgin C (5), fumitremorgin B (6) and verruculogen (7), were isolated from the fermentation broth of Aspergillus fumigatus BM939 by the combined use of solvent extraction, silica gel column chromatography, preparative TLC and repeated-preparative HPLC. The diketopiperazines showed an inhibitory activity on the cell cycle progression of mouse tsFT210 cells in the M phase with the MIC values of 16.4 microM (1), 4.4 microM (2), 0.45 microM (3), 4.1 microM (4), 60.8 microM (5), 26.1 microM (6) and 12.2 microM (7), respectively. PMID:8698634

  7. Novel mammalian cell cycle inhibitors, tryprostatins A, B and other diketopiperazines produced by Aspergillus fumigatus. II. Physico-chemical properties and structures.

    PubMed

    Cui, C B; Kakeya, H; Osada, H

    1996-06-01

    Two novel diketopiperazines named tryprostatins A and B and a new natural product belonging to the diketopiperazine series, designated as demethoxyfumitremorgin C, together with four known diketopiperazines, fumitremorgin C, 12,13-dihydroxyfumitremorgin C, fumitremorgin B and verruculogen, are new M phase inhibitors of the mammalian cell cycle, which were isolated from the secondary metabolites of Aspergillus fumigatus. The structures of tryprostatins A, B and demethoxyfumitremorgin C were determined mainly by the use of spectroscopic methods especially by detailed analyses of their 1H and 13C NMR spectra with the aid of 2D NMR techniques including pulse field gradient heteronuclear multiple-bond correlation (PFG-HMBC) spectroscopy. Their absolute configurations were determined on the basis of the optical rotational values and CD spectra. PMID:8698635

  8. GH16 and GH81 family β-(1,3)-glucanases in Aspergillus fumigatus are essential for conidial cell wall morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Mouyna, Isabelle; Aimanianda, Vishukumar; Hartl, Lukas; Prevost, Marie-Christine; Sismeiro, Odile; Dillies, Marie-Agnès; Jagla, Bernd; Legendre, Rachel; Coppee, Jean-Yves; Latgé, Jean-Paul

    2016-09-01

    The fungal cell wall is a rigid structure because of fibrillar and branched β-(1,3)-glucan linked to chitin. Softening of the cell wall is an essential phenomenon during fungal morphogenesis, wherein rigid cell wall structures are cleaved by glycosylhydrolases. During the search for glycosylhydrolases acting on β-(1,3)-glucan, we identified seven genes in the Aspergillus fumigatus genome coding for potential endo-β-(1,3)-glucanase. ENG1 (previously characterized and named ENGL1, Mouyna et al., ), belongs to the Glycoside-Hydrolase 81 (GH81) family, while ENG2 to ENG7, to GH16 family. ENG1 and four GH16 genes (ENG2-5) were expressed in the resting conidia as well as during germination, suggesting an essential role during A. fumigatus morphogenesis. Here, we report the effect of sequential deletion of AfENG2-5 (GH16) followed by AfENG1 (GH81) deletion in the Δeng2,3,4,5 mutant. The Δeng1,2,3,4,5 mutant showed conidial defects, with linear chains of conidia unable to separate while the germination rate was not affected. These results show, for the first time in a filamentous fungus, that endo β-(1,3)-glucanases are essential for proper conidial cell wall assembly and thus segregation of conidia during conidiation. PMID:27306610

  9. Phagocytosis-dependent activation of a TLR9–BTK–calcineurin–NFAT pathway co-ordinates innate immunity to Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Herbst, Susanne; Shah, Anand; Mazon Moya, Maria; Marzola, Vanessa; Jensen, Barbara; Reed, Anna; Birrell, Mark A; Saijo, Shinobu; Mostowy, Serge; Shaunak, Sunil; Armstrong-James, Darius

    2015-01-01

    Transplant recipients on calcineurin inhibitors are at high risk of invasive fungal infection. Understanding how calcineurin inhibitors impair fungal immunity is a key priority for defining risk of infection. Here, we show that the calcineurin inhibitor tacrolimus impairs clearance of the major mould pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus from the airway, by inhibiting macrophage inflammatory responses. This leads to defective early neutrophil recruitment and fungal clearance. We confirm these findings in zebrafish, showing an evolutionarily conserved role for calcineurin signalling in neutrophil recruitment during inflammation. We find that calcineurin–NFAT activation is phagocytosis dependent and collaborates with NF-κB for TNF-α production. For yeast zymosan particles, activation of macrophage calcineurin–NFAT occurs via the phagocytic Dectin-1–spleen tyrosine kinase pathway, but for A. fumigatus, activation occurs via a phagosomal TLR9-dependent and Bruton's tyrosine kinase-dependent signalling pathway that is independent of MyD88. We confirm the collaboration between NFAT and NF-κB for TNF-α production in primary alveolar macrophages. These observations identify inhibition of a newly discovered macrophage TLR9–BTK–calcineurin–NFAT signalling pathway as a key immune defect that leads to organ transplant-related invasive aspergillosis. PMID:25637383

  10. The MAP kinase MpkA controls cell wall integrity, oxidative stress response, gliotoxin production and iron adaptation in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Jain, Radhika; Valiante, Vito; Remme, Nicole; Docimo, Teresa; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Hertweck, Christian; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Haas, Hubertus; Brakhage, Axel A

    2011-01-01

    The saprophytic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important air-borne fungal pathogen. The cell wall of A. fumigatus has been studied intensively as a potential target for development of effective antifungal agents. A major role in maintaining cell wall integrity is played by the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) MpkA. To gain a comprehensive insight into this central signal transduction pathway, we performed a transcriptome analysis of the ΔmpkA mutant under standard and cell wall stress conditions. Besides genes involved in cell wall remodelling, protection against ROS and secondary metabolism such as gliotoxin, pyomelanin and pseurotin A, also genes involved in siderophore biosynthesis were regulated by MpkA. Consistently, northern and western blot analyses indicated that iron starvation triggers phosphorylation and thus activation of MpkA. Furthermore, localization studies indicated that MpkA accumulates in the nucleus under iron depletion. Hence, we report the first connection between a MAPK pathway and siderophore biosynthesis. The measurement of amino acid pools and of the pools of polyamines indicated that arginine was continuously converted into ornithine to fuel the siderophore pool in the ΔmpkA mutant strain. Based on our data, we propose that MpkA fine-tunes the balance between stress response and energy consuming cellular processes. PMID:21883519

  11. SCF Ubiquitin Ligase F-box Protein Fbx15 Controls Nuclear Co-repressor Localization, Stress Response and Virulence of the Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Jöhnk, Bastian; Bayram, Özgür; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Mattern, Derek J.; Brakhage, Axel A.; Jacobsen, Ilse D.; Valerius, Oliver; Braus, Gerhard H.

    2016-01-01

    F-box proteins share the F-box domain to connect substrates of E3 SCF ubiquitin RING ligases through the adaptor Skp1/A to Cul1/A scaffolds. F-box protein Fbx15 is part of the general stress response of the human pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus. Oxidative stress induces a transient peak of fbx15 expression, resulting in 3x elevated Fbx15 protein levels. During non-stress conditions Fbx15 is phosphorylated and F-box mediated interaction with SkpA preferentially happens in smaller subpopulations in the cytoplasm. The F-box of Fbx15 is required for an appropriate oxidative stress response, which results in rapid dephosphorylation of Fbx15 and a shift of the cellular interaction with SkpA to the nucleus. Fbx15 binds SsnF/Ssn6 as part of the RcoA/Tup1-SsnF/Ssn6 co-repressor and is required for its correct nuclear localization. Dephosphorylated Fbx15 prevents SsnF/Ssn6 nuclear localization and results in the derepression of gliotoxin gene expression. fbx15 deletion mutants are unable to infect immunocompromised mice in a model for invasive aspergillosis. Fbx15 has a novel dual molecular function by controlling transcriptional repression and being part of SCF E3 ubiquitin ligases, which is essential for stress response, gliotoxin production and virulence in the opportunistic human pathogen A. fumigatus. PMID:27649508

  12. Heptahelical Receptors GprC and GprD of Aspergillus fumigatus Are Essential Regulators of Colony Growth, Hyphal Morphogenesis, and Virulence▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Gehrke, Alexander; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Jacobsen, Ilse D.; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2010-01-01

    The filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus normally grows on compost or hay but is also able to colonize environments such as the human lung. In order to survive, this organism needs to react to a multitude of external stimuli. Although extensive work has been carried out to investigate intracellular signal transduction in A. fumigatus, little is known about the specific stimuli and the corresponding receptors activating these signaling cascades. Here, two putative G-protein-coupled receptors, GprC and GprD, were characterized with respect to their cellular functions. Deletion of the corresponding genes resulted in drastic growth defects as hyphal extension was reduced, germination was retarded, and hyphae showed elevated levels of branching. The growth defect was found to be temperature dependent. The higher the temperature the more pronounced was the growth defect. Furthermore, compared with the wild type, the sensitivity of the mutant strains toward environmental stress caused by reactive oxygen intermediates was increased and the mutants displayed an attenuation of virulence in a murine infection model. Both mutants, especially the ΔgprC strain, exhibited increased tolerance toward cyclosporine, an inhibitor of the calcineurin signal transduction pathway. Transcriptome analyses indicated that in both the gprC and gprD deletion mutants, transcripts of primary metabolism genes were less abundant, whereas transcription of several secondary metabolism gene clusters was upregulated. Taken together, our data suggest the receptors are involved in integrating and processing stress signals via modulation of the calcineurin pathway. PMID:20418440

  13. SCF Ubiquitin Ligase F-box Protein Fbx15 Controls Nuclear Co-repressor Localization, Stress Response and Virulence of the Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Jöhnk, Bastian; Bayram, Özgür; Abelmann, Anja; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Mattern, Derek J; Brakhage, Axel A; Jacobsen, Ilse D; Valerius, Oliver; Braus, Gerhard H

    2016-09-01

    F-box proteins share the F-box domain to connect substrates of E3 SCF ubiquitin RING ligases through the adaptor Skp1/A to Cul1/A scaffolds. F-box protein Fbx15 is part of the general stress response of the human pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus. Oxidative stress induces a transient peak of fbx15 expression, resulting in 3x elevated Fbx15 protein levels. During non-stress conditions Fbx15 is phosphorylated and F-box mediated interaction with SkpA preferentially happens in smaller subpopulations in the cytoplasm. The F-box of Fbx15 is required for an appropriate oxidative stress response, which results in rapid dephosphorylation of Fbx15 and a shift of the cellular interaction with SkpA to the nucleus. Fbx15 binds SsnF/Ssn6 as part of the RcoA/Tup1-SsnF/Ssn6 co-repressor and is required for its correct nuclear localization. Dephosphorylated Fbx15 prevents SsnF/Ssn6 nuclear localization and results in the derepression of gliotoxin gene expression. fbx15 deletion mutants are unable to infect immunocompromised mice in a model for invasive aspergillosis. Fbx15 has a novel dual molecular function by controlling transcriptional repression and being part of SCF E3 ubiquitin ligases, which is essential for stress response, gliotoxin production and virulence in the opportunistic human pathogen A. fumigatus. PMID:27649508

  14. Aspergillus fumigatus MADS-Box Transcription Factor rlmA Is Required for Regulation of the Cell Wall Integrity and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, Marina Campos; Fabri, João Henrique Tadini Marilhano; Franco de Godoy, Krissia; Alves de Castro, Patrícia; Hori, Juliana Issa; Ferreira da Cunha, Anderson; Arentshorst, Mark; Ram, Arthur F. J.; van den Hondel, Cees A. M. J. J.; Goldman, Gustavo Henrique; Malavazi, Iran

    2016-01-01

    The Cell Wall Integrity (CWI) pathway is the primary signaling cascade that controls the de novo synthesis of the fungal cell wall, and in Saccharomyces cerevisiae this event is highly dependent on the RLM1 transcription factor. Here, we investigated the function of RlmA in the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. We show that the ΔrlmA strain exhibits an altered cell wall organization in addition to defects related to vegetative growth and tolerance to cell wall-perturbing agents. A genetic analysis indicated that rlmA is positioned downstream of the pkcA and mpkA genes in the CWI pathway. As a consequence, rlmA loss-of-function leads to the altered expression of genes encoding cell wall-related proteins. RlmA positively regulates the phosphorylation of MpkA and is induced at both protein and transcriptional levels during cell wall stress. The rlmA was also involved in tolerance to oxidative damage and transcriptional regulation of genes related to oxidative stress adaptation. Moreover, the ΔrlmA strain had attenuated virulence in a neutropenic murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Our results suggest that RlmA functions as a transcription factor in the A. fumigatus CWI pathway, acting downstream of PkcA-MpkA signaling and contributing to the virulence of this fungus. PMID:27473315

  15. Aspergillus fumigatus MADS-Box Transcription Factor rlmA Is Required for Regulation of the Cell Wall Integrity and Virulence.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Marina Campos; Fabri, João Henrique Tadini Marilhano; Franco de Godoy, Krissia; Alves de Castro, Patrícia; Hori, Juliana Issa; Ferreira da Cunha, Anderson; Arentshorst, Mark; Ram, Arthur F J; van den Hondel, Cees A M J J; Goldman, Gustavo Henrique; Malavazi, Iran

    2016-01-01

    The Cell Wall Integrity (CWI) pathway is the primary signaling cascade that controls the de novo synthesis of the fungal cell wall, and in Saccharomyces cerevisiae this event is highly dependent on the RLM1 transcription factor. Here, we investigated the function of RlmA in the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus We show that the ΔrlmA strain exhibits an altered cell wall organization in addition to defects related to vegetative growth and tolerance to cell wall-perturbing agents. A genetic analysis indicated that rlmA is positioned downstream of the pkcA and mpkA genes in the CWI pathway. As a consequence, rlmA loss-of-function leads to the altered expression of genes encoding cell wall-related proteins. RlmA positively regulates the phosphorylation of MpkA and is induced at both protein and transcriptional levels during cell wall stress. The rlmA was also involved in tolerance to oxidative damage and transcriptional regulation of genes related to oxidative stress adaptation. Moreover, the ΔrlmA strain had attenuated virulence in a neutropenic murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Our results suggest that RlmA functions as a transcription factor in the A. fumigatus CWI pathway, acting downstream of PkcA-MpkA signaling and contributing to the virulence of this fungus.

  16. The Aspergillus fumigatus StuA Protein Governs the Up-Regulation of a Discrete Transcriptional Program during the Acquisition of Developmental CompetenceD⃞

    PubMed Central

    Sheppard, Donald C.; Doedt, Thomas; Chiang, Lisa Y.; Kim, H. Stanley; Chen, Dan; Nierman, William C.; Filler, Scott G.

    2005-01-01

    Members of the Asm1p, Phd1p, Sok2p, Efg1p, and StuAp (APSES) family of fungal proteins regulate morphogenesis and virulence in ascomycetes. We cloned the Aspergillus fumigatus APSES gene encoding StuAp and demonstrated that stuA transcription is markedly up-regulated after the acquisition of developmental competence. A. fumigatus ΔstuA mutants were impaired in their ability to undergo asexual reproduction. Conidiophore morphology was markedly abnormal, and only small numbers of dysmorphic conidia were produced, which exhibited precocious germination. Whole genome transcriptional analysis during the onset of developmental competence was performed and identified a subset of developmentally regulated genes that were stuA dependent, including a cluster of putative secondary metabolite biosynthesis genes, genes encoding proteins implicated in the regulation of morphogenesis, and genes encoding allergens and other antigenic proteins. Additionally, hyphae of the ΔstuA mutant displayed reduced expression of the catalase gene CAT1 and were hypersusceptible to hydrogen peroxide. PMID:16207816

  17. Coordination between BrlA regulation and secretion of the oxidoreductase FmqD directs selective accumulation of fumiquinazoline C to conidial tissues in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Fang Yun; Ames, Brian; Walsh, Christopher; Keller, Nancy

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Aerial spores, crucial for propagation and dispersal of the Kingdom Fungi, are commonly the initial inoculum of pathogenic fungi. Natural products (secondary metabolites) have been correlated with fungal spore development and enhanced virulence in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus but mechanisms for metabolite deposition in the spore are unknown. Metabolomic profiling of A. fumigatus deletion mutants of fumiquinazoline (Fq) cluster genes reveal that the first two products of the Fq cluster, FqF and FqA, are produced to comparable levels in all fungal tissues but the final enzymatically-derived product, FqC, predominantly accumulates in the fungal spore. Loss of the sporulation-specific transcription factor, BrlA, yields a strain unable to produce FqA or FqC. Fluorescence microscopy showed FmqD, the oxidoreductase required to generate FqC, was secreted via the Golgi apparatus to the cell wall in an actin-dependent manner. In contrast, all other members of the Fq pathway including the putative transporter, FmqE – which had no effect on Fq biosynthesis – were internal to the hyphae. The coordination of BrlA-mediated tissue specificity with FmqD secretion to the cell wall presents a previously undescribed mechanism to direct localization of specific secondary metabolites to spores of the differentiating fungus. PMID:24612080

  18. Crystal Structures and Small-angle X-ray Scattering Analysis of UDP-galactopyranose Mutase from the Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus

    SciTech Connect

    Dhatwalia, Richa; Singh, Harkewal; Oppenheimer, Michelle; Karr, Dale B.; Nix, Jay C.; Sobrado, Pablo; Tanner, John J.

    2015-10-15

    UDP-galactopyranose mutase (UGM) is a flavoenzyme that catalyzes the conversion of UDP-galactopyranose to UDP-galactofuranose, which is a central reaction in galactofuranose biosynthesis. Galactofuranose has never been found in humans but is an essential building block of the cell wall and extracellular matrix of many bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. The importance of UGM for the viability of many pathogens and its absence in humans make UGM a potential drug target. Here we report the first crystal structures and small-angle x-ray scattering data for UGM from the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, the causative agent of aspergillosis. The structures reveal that Aspergillus UGM has several extra secondary and tertiary structural elements that are not found in bacterial UGMs yet are important for substrate recognition and oligomerization. Small-angle x-ray scattering data show that Aspergillus UGM forms a tetramer in solution, which is unprecedented for UGMs. The binding of UDP or the substrate induces profound conformational changes in the enzyme. Two loops on opposite sides of the active site move toward each other by over 10 {angstrom} to cover the substrate and create a closed active site. The degree of substrate-induced conformational change exceeds that of bacterial UGMs and is a direct consequence of the unique quaternary structure of Aspergillus UGM. Galactopyranose binds at the re face of the FAD isoalloxazine with the anomeric carbon atom poised for nucleophilic attack by the FAD N5 atom. The structural data provide new insight into substrate recognition and the catalytic mechanism and thus will aid inhibitor design.

  19. Proteomic analyses reveal the key roles of BrlA and AbaA in biogenesis of gliotoxin in Aspergillus fumigatus

    SciTech Connect

    Shin, Kwang-Soo; Kim, Young Hwan; Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    2015-07-31

    The opportunistic human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus primarily reproduces by forming a large number of asexual spores (conidia). Sequential activation of the central regulators BrlA, AbaA and WetA is necessary for the fungus to undergo asexual development. In this study, to address the presumed roles of these key developmental regulators during proliferation of the fungus, we analyzed and compared the proteomes of vegetative cells of wild type (WT) and individual mutant strains. Approximately 1300 protein spots were detectable from 2-D electrophoresis gels. Among these, 13 proteins exhibiting significantly altered accumulation levels were further identified by ESI-MS/MS. Markedly, we found that the GliM and GliT proteins associated with gliotoxin (GT) biosynthesis and self-protection of the fungus from GT were significantly down-regulated in the ΔabaA and ΔbrlA mutants. Moreover, mRNA levels of other GT biosynthetic genes including gliM, gliP, gliT, and gliZ were significantly reduced in both mutant strains, and no and low levels of GT were detectable in the ΔbrlA and ΔabaA mutant strains, respectively. As GliT is required for the protection of the fungus from GT, growth of the ΔbrlA mutant with reduced levels of GliT was severely impaired by exogenous GT. Our studies demonstrate that AbaA and BrlA positively regulate expression of the GT biosynthetic gene cluster in actively growing vegetative cells, and likely bridge morphological and chemical development during the life-cycle of A. fumigatus. - Highlights: • Proteome analyses of WT and mutants reveal 13 differentially expressed proteins. • The GliT and GliM proteins are significantly down-regulated by ΔabaA and ΔbrlA. • Expression of other gliotoxin biosynthetic genes is lowered by ΔabaA and ΔbrlA. • Growth of ΔbrlA strain lacking GliT is completely inhibited by exogenous gliotoxin. • BrlA and AbaA play key roles in biogenesis of gliotoxin in Aspergillus fumigatus.

  20. Comparison of transcriptome technologies in the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus reveals novel insights into the genome and MpkA dependent gene expression

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus has become the most important airborne fungal pathogen causing life-threatening infections in immuno-compromised patients. Recently developed high-throughput transcriptome and proteome technologies, such as microarrays, RNA deep-sequencing, and LC-MS/MS of peptide mixtures, are of enormous value for systematically investigating pathogenic organisms. In the field of infection biology, one of the priorities is to collect and standardise data, in order to generate datasets that can be used to investigate and compare pathways and gene responses involved in pathogenicity. The “omics” era provides a multitude of inputs that need to be integrated and assessed. We therefore evaluated the potential of paired-end mRNA-Seq for investigating the regulatory role of the central mitogen activated protein kinase (MpkA). This kinase is involved in the cell wall integrity signalling pathway of A. fumigatus and essential for maintaining an intact cell wall in response to stress. Results The comparison of the transcriptome and proteome of an A. fumigatus wild-type strain with an mpkA null mutant strain revealed that 70.4% of the genome was found to be expressed and that MpkA plays a significant role in the regulation of many genes involved in cell wall remodelling, oxidative stress and iron starvation response, and secondary metabolite biosynthesis. Moreover, absence of the mpkA gene also strongly affects the expression of genes involved in primary metabolism. The data were further processed to evaluate the potential of the mRNA-Seq technique. We comprehensively matched up our data to published transcriptome studies and were able to show an improved data comparability of mRNA-Seq experiments independently of the technique used. Analysis of transcriptome and proteome data revealed only a weak correlation between mRNA and protein abundance. Conclusions High-throughput analysis of MpkA-dependent gene expression confirmed many

  1. Optimization of process parameters influencing the submerged fermentation of extracellular lipases from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, candida albicans and Aspergillus flavus.

    PubMed

    Padhiar, Jigita; Das, Arijit; Bhattacharya, Sourav

    2011-11-15

    The present study was aimed at optimization, production and partial purification of lipases from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans and Aspergillus flavus. Various nutritional and physical parameters affecting lipase production such as carbon and nitrogen supplements, pH, temperature, agitation speed and incubation time were studied. Refined sunflower oil (1% v/v) and tryptone at a pH of 6.2 favored maximum lipase production in Pseudomonas at 30 degrees C and 150 rpm, when incubated for 5 days. In C. albicans refined sunflower oil (3% v/v) and peptone resulted in maximum lipase production at pH 5.2, 30 degrees C and 150 rpm, when incubated for 5 days. In A. flavus coconut oil (3% v/v) and peptone yielded maximum lipase at pH 6.2, 37 degrees C, 200 rpm after an incubation period of 5 days. The lipases were partially purified by ammonium sulphate precipitation and dialysis. In P. aeruginosa enzyme activity of the dialyzed fraction was found to be 400 U mL-' and for C. albicans 410 U mL(-1). The dialysed lipase fraction from A. flavus demonstrated an activity of 460 U mL(-1). The apparent molecular weights of the dialyzed lipases were determined by sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). The dialyzed lipase fraction obtained from P. aeruginosa revealed molecular weights of 47, 49 and 51 kDa, whereas, lipases from C. albicans and A. flavus demonstrated 3 bands (16.5, 27 and 51 kDa) and one band (47 kDa), respectively. These extracellular lipases may find wide industrial applications.

  2. Optimization of process parameters influencing the submerged fermentation of extracellular lipases from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, candida albicans and Aspergillus flavus.

    PubMed

    Padhiar, Jigita; Das, Arijit; Bhattacharya, Sourav

    2011-11-15

    The present study was aimed at optimization, production and partial purification of lipases from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans and Aspergillus flavus. Various nutritional and physical parameters affecting lipase production such as carbon and nitrogen supplements, pH, temperature, agitation speed and incubation time were studied. Refined sunflower oil (1% v/v) and tryptone at a pH of 6.2 favored maximum lipase production in Pseudomonas at 30 degrees C and 150 rpm, when incubated for 5 days. In C. albicans refined sunflower oil (3% v/v) and peptone resulted in maximum lipase production at pH 5.2, 30 degrees C and 150 rpm, when incubated for 5 days. In A. flavus coconut oil (3% v/v) and peptone yielded maximum lipase at pH 6.2, 37 degrees C, 200 rpm after an incubation period of 5 days. The lipases were partially purified by ammonium sulphate precipitation and dialysis. In P. aeruginosa enzyme activity of the dialyzed fraction was found to be 400 U mL-' and for C. albicans 410 U mL(-1). The dialysed lipase fraction from A. flavus demonstrated an activity of 460 U mL(-1). The apparent molecular weights of the dialyzed lipases were determined by sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). The dialyzed lipase fraction obtained from P. aeruginosa revealed molecular weights of 47, 49 and 51 kDa, whereas, lipases from C. albicans and A. flavus demonstrated 3 bands (16.5, 27 and 51 kDa) and one band (47 kDa), respectively. These extracellular lipases may find wide industrial applications. PMID:22514878

  3. Analysis of Performance of a PCR-Based Assay To Detect DNA of Aspergillus fumigatus in Whole Blood and Serum: a Comparative Study with Clinical Samples▿

    PubMed Central

    Bernal-Martínez, Leticia; Gago, Sara; Buitrago, María J.; Gomez-Lopez, Alicia; Rodríguez-Tudela, Juan L.; Cuenca-Estrella, Manuel

    2011-01-01

    The performance of a real-time PCR-based assay was retrospectively analyzed (according to European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer/Mycosis Study Group criteria) in the samples of patients with invasive aspergillosis. A total of 711 serial samples (356 whole-blood and 355 serum samples) from 38 adult patients were analyzed. The Aspergillus fumigatus PCR assay results were positive for 89 of 356 (25%) whole-blood samples and 90 of 355 (25.35%) serum samples. Positive PCR results were seen in 29 of 31 (93.5%) patients for which serum was analyzed and in 31 of 33 (93.9%) cases with whole-blood specimens. Both blood and serum samples were available in 26 cases, and significant differences were not observed in this subgroup of cases. The average number of threshold cycles (CT) for positive blood samples was 37.6, and the average CT for serum was 37.4. The DNA concentration ranged between 2 and 50 fg per μl of sample, with average DNA concentrations of 10.2 and 11.7 fg in positive blood and serum samples, respectively (P > 0.01). The performance of this PCR-based quantitative assay was similar for both serum and blood samples. We recommend serum samples as the most convenient hematological sample to use for Aspergillus DNA quantification when serial determinations are done. PMID:21849696

  4. Dephosphorylation of the Core Septin, AspB, in a Protein Phosphatase 2A-Dependent Manner Impacts Its Localization and Function in the Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Vargas-Muñiz, José M; Renshaw, Hilary; Richards, Amber D; Waitt, Greg; Soderblom, Erik J; Moseley, Martin A; Asfaw, Yohannes; Juvvadi, Praveen R; Steinbach, William J

    2016-01-01

    Septins are a conserved family of GTPases that form hetero-oligomeric complexes and perform diverse functions in higher eukaryotes, excluding plants. Our previous studies in the human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus revealed that the core septin, AspB, a CDC3 ortholog, is required for septation, conidiation, and conidial cell wall organization. Although AspB is important for these cellular functions, nothing is known about the role of kinases or phosphatases in the posttranslational regulation and localization of septins in A. fumigatus. In this study, we assessed the function of the Gin4 and Cla4 kinases and the PP2A regulatory subunit ParA, in the regulation of AspB using genetic and phosphoproteomic approaches. Gene deletion analyses revealed that Cla4 and ParA are indispensable for hyphal extension, and Gin4, Cla4, and ParA are each required for conidiation and normal septation. While deletion of gin4 resulted in larger interseptal distances and hypervirulence, a phenotype mimicking aspB deletion, deletion of cla4 and parA caused hyperseptation without impacting virulence, indicating divergent roles in regulating septation. Phosphoproteomic analyses revealed that AspB is phosphorylated at five residues in the GTPase domain (S134, S137, S247, T297, and T301) and two residues at its C-terminus (S416 and S461) in the wild-type, Δgin4 and Δcla4 strains. However, concomitant with the differential localization pattern of AspB and hyperseptation in the ΔparA strain, AspB remained phosphorylated at two additional residues, T68 in the N-terminal polybasic region and S447 in the coiled-coil domain. Generation of nonphosphorylatable and phosphomimetic strains surrounding each differentially phosphorylated residue revealed that only AspB (mt) -T68E showed increased interseptal distances, suggesting that dephosphorylation of T68 is important for proper septation. This study highlights the importance of septin phosphorylation/dephosphorylation in the regulation of A

  5. Dephosphorylation of the Core Septin, AspB, in a Protein Phosphatase 2A-Dependent Manner Impacts Its Localization and Function in the Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Vargas-Muñiz, José M.; Renshaw, Hilary; Richards, Amber D.; Waitt, Greg; Soderblom, Erik J.; Moseley, Martin. A.; Asfaw, Yohannes; Juvvadi, Praveen R.; Steinbach, William J.

    2016-01-01

    Septins are a conserved family of GTPases that form hetero–oligomeric complexes and perform diverse functions in higher eukaryotes, excluding plants. Our previous studies in the human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus revealed that the core septin, AspB, a CDC3 ortholog, is required for septation, conidiation, and conidial cell wall organization. Although AspB is important for these cellular functions, nothing is known about the role of kinases or phosphatases in the posttranslational regulation and localization of septins in A. fumigatus. In this study, we assessed the function of the Gin4 and Cla4 kinases and the PP2A regulatory subunit ParA, in the regulation of AspB using genetic and phosphoproteomic approaches. Gene deletion analyses revealed that Cla4 and ParA are indispensable for hyphal extension, and Gin4, Cla4, and ParA are each required for conidiation and normal septation. While deletion of gin4 resulted in larger interseptal distances and hypervirulence, a phenotype mimicking aspB deletion, deletion of cla4 and parA caused hyperseptation without impacting virulence, indicating divergent roles in regulating septation. Phosphoproteomic analyses revealed that AspB is phosphorylated at five residues in the GTPase domain (S134, S137, S247, T297, and T301) and two residues at its C-terminus (S416 and S461) in the wild-type, Δgin4 and Δcla4 strains. However, concomitant with the differential localization pattern of AspB and hyperseptation in the ΔparA strain, AspB remained phosphorylated at two additional residues, T68 in the N-terminal polybasic region and S447 in the coiled-coil domain. Generation of nonphosphorylatable and phosphomimetic strains surrounding each differentially phosphorylated residue revealed that only AspBmt-T68E showed increased interseptal distances, suggesting that dephosphorylation of T68 is important for proper septation. This study highlights the importance of septin phosphorylation/dephosphorylation in the regulation of A

  6. Dephosphorylation of the Core Septin, AspB, in a Protein Phosphatase 2A-Dependent Manner Impacts Its Localization and Function in the Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Vargas-Muñiz, José M; Renshaw, Hilary; Richards, Amber D; Waitt, Greg; Soderblom, Erik J; Moseley, Martin A; Asfaw, Yohannes; Juvvadi, Praveen R; Steinbach, William J

    2016-01-01

    Septins are a conserved family of GTPases that form hetero-oligomeric complexes and perform diverse functions in higher eukaryotes, excluding plants. Our previous studies in the human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus revealed that the core septin, AspB, a CDC3 ortholog, is required for septation, conidiation, and conidial cell wall organization. Although AspB is important for these cellular functions, nothing is known about the role of kinases or phosphatases in the posttranslational regulation and localization of septins in A. fumigatus. In this study, we assessed the function of the Gin4 and Cla4 kinases and the PP2A regulatory subunit ParA, in the regulation of AspB using genetic and phosphoproteomic approaches. Gene deletion analyses revealed that Cla4 and ParA are indispensable for hyphal extension, and Gin4, Cla4, and ParA are each required for conidiation and normal septation. While deletion of gin4 resulted in larger interseptal distances and hypervirulence, a phenotype mimicking aspB deletion, deletion of cla4 and parA caused hyperseptation without impacting virulence, indicating divergent roles in regulating septation. Phosphoproteomic analyses revealed that AspB is phosphorylated at five residues in the GTPase domain (S134, S137, S247, T297, and T301) and two residues at its C-terminus (S416 and S461) in the wild-type, Δgin4 and Δcla4 strains. However, concomitant with the differential localization pattern of AspB and hyperseptation in the ΔparA strain, AspB remained phosphorylated at two additional residues, T68 in the N-terminal polybasic region and S447 in the coiled-coil domain. Generation of nonphosphorylatable and phosphomimetic strains surrounding each differentially phosphorylated residue revealed that only AspB (mt) -T68E showed increased interseptal distances, suggesting that dephosphorylation of T68 is important for proper septation. This study highlights the importance of septin phosphorylation/dephosphorylation in the regulation of A

  7. [A case report of pulmonary infiltration with eosinophilia syndrome induced by Candida albicans].

    PubMed

    Miyagawa, H; Yokota, S; Kajimoto, K; Makimoto, K; Sato, K; Nabe, M; Tada, S; Kimura, I

    1992-01-01

    A sixty six-year-old female who had been treated for bronchial asthma for about 25 years was admitted to the hospital with complaints of episodes of dyspnea, eosinophilia and infiltrative shadows in the chest X-ray film. An infiltrative shadow appeared to move from the left to the right lung field and finally formed a shadow of atelectasis in the middle field of the right lung. A sputum culture showed only Candida albicans. Allergic and immunologic examination revealed high IgE serum levels with specific IgE against Candida albicans in high titer, and Aspergillus fumigatus in low titer. The precipitating antibody was shown only against Candida antigen. Additionally, the blastogenic response to Candida antigen was high in comparison with other fungal antigens including Aspergillus fumigatus. The clinical features and laboratory findings of this patient were found to satisfy Rosenberg's criteria for allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), except for the existence of Candida albicans in place of Aspergillus species as the causative antigen. The pathogenesis of PIE syndrome has been studied and various allergic mechanisms against many antigens reported. In this patient Candida albicans could be playing the crucial role in the formation of PIE syndrome, which might be best described as allergic bronchopulmonary candidiasis (ABPC). PMID:1554325

  8. Genotype-phenotype complexity of the TR46/Y121F/T289A cyp51A azole resistance mechanism in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Snelders, Eveline; Camps, Simone M T; Karawajczyk, Anna; Rijs, Antonius J M M; Zoll, Jan; Verweij, Paul E; Melchers, Willem J G

    2015-09-01

    The Aspergillus fumigatus cyp51A gene TR46/Y121F/T289A mutation is a new emerging resistance mechanism with high-level voriconazole (VOR) resistance, and elevated MICs to all other medical azoles. This is highly worrisome as VOR is the primary drug for the treatment of many aspergillus diseases. The 46 base pair tandem repeat (TR46) is positioned at the same location of the cyp51A gene promoter region as has been described for other tandem repeats. The exact role of the TR46 in combination with the two amino acid changes (Y121F and T289A) in the CYP51A protein is unknown. In this study this azole resistance mechanism was investigated by recombinant analysis study combined with homology modelling. MICs of the TR46/Y121F/T289A recombinant corresponded to the MICs of the original clinical isolates containing the same mutations with high-level resistance to VOR. The TR46 or Y121F by itself has only a moderate effect on azole susceptibility. The combination of TR46/Y121F, however, appears to be highly resistant not only for VOR but also for itraconazole (ITZ). The genetic change of T289A in combination with TR46 or by itself has no significant effect on the phenotype but moderates the phenotype of the ITZ resistance only in the presence of Y121F. The striking resistant phenotype of the TR46/Y121F mutant is supported by the structural analysis of the CYP51A homology model. The A. fumigatus CYP51A Y121 residue forms an H-bond with the heme centre of the enzyme. Disruption of the H-bond by the Y121F substitution destabilizes the active centre of CYP51A which appears to be essential with respect to azole resistance. In CYP51A-azole complexes, residue T289 is in close proximity of the azole moiety of VOR. Replacement of the polar amino acid threonine by the more hydrophobic amino acid alanine might promote more stable drug-protein interactions and has thereby an impact on ITZ susceptibility, which is confirmed by the MICs of the genetic recombinants. PMID:26092193

  9. 2-hydroxyisocaproic acid is fungicidal for Candida and Aspergillus species.

    PubMed

    Sakko, M; Moore, C; Novak-Frazer, L; Rautemaa, V; Sorsa, T; Hietala, P; Järvinen, A; Bowyer, P; Tjäderhane, L; Rautemaa, R

    2014-04-01

    The amino acid derivative 2-hydroxyisocaproic acid (HICA) is a nutritional additive used to increase muscle mass. Low levels can be detected in human plasma as a result of leucine metabolism. It has broad antibacterial activity but its efficacy against pathogenic fungi is not known. The aim was to test the efficacy of HICA against Candida and Aspergillus species. Efficacy of HICA against 19 clinical and reference isolates representing five Candida and three Aspergillus species with variable azole antifungal sensitivity profiles was tested using a microdilution method. The concentrations were 18, 36 and 72 mg ml(-1) . Growth was determined spectrophotometrically for Candida isolates and by visual inspection for Aspergillus isolates, viability was tested by culture and impact on morphology by microscopy. HICA of 72 mg ml(-1) was fungicidal against all Candida and Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus terreus isolates. Lower concentrations were fungistatic. Aspergillus flavus was not inhibited by HICA. HICA inhibited hyphal formation in susceptible Candida albicans and A. fumigatus isolates and affected cell wall integrity. In conclusion, HICA has broad antifungal activity against Candida and Aspergillus at concentrations relevant for topical therapy. As a fungicidal agent with broad-spectrum bactericidal activity, it may be useful in the topical treatment of multispecies superficial infections.

  10. Antifungal susceptibilities of Candida, Cryptococcus neoformans and Aspergillus fumigatus from the Asia and Western Pacific region: data from the SENTRY antifungal surveillance program (2010-2012).

    PubMed

    Pfaller, Michael A; Messer, Shawn A; Jones, Ronald N; Castanheira, Mariana

    2015-09-01

    The SENTRY Antifungal Surveillance Program monitors global susceptibility rates of newer and established antifungal agents. We report the in vitro activity of seven antifungal agents against 496 contemporary clinical isolates of yeasts and molds. The isolates were obtained from 20 laboratories in the Asia-Western Pacific (APAC) region during 2010 through 2012. Anidulafungin, caspofungin, micafungin, fluconazole, itraconazole, posaconazole and voriconazole were susceptibility tested using CLSI methods and species-specific interpretive criteria. Sequencing of fks hot spots was performed for echinocandin-resistant strains. Isolates included 13 species of Candida (n=460), 5 species of non-Candida yeasts (21), 5 species of Aspergillus (11) and 4 other molds. Echinocandin resistance was uncommon among eight species of Candida and was only detected in three isolates of Candida glabrata, two from Australia harboring mutations in fks1 (F625S) and fks2 (S663P). Resistance to the azoles was much more common and was observed among all species with the exception of Candida dubliniensis. Fluconazole resistance rates observed with C. glabrata (6.8%) was comparable to that seen with Candida parapsilosis (5.7%) and Candida tropicalis (3.6%). Cross resistance among the triazoles was seen with each of these three species. The mold-active azoles and the echinocandins were all active against isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus. Azole resistance was not detected among the isolates of Cryptococcus neoformans. Antifungal resistance is uncommon among isolates of fungi causing invasive fungal infections in the APAC region. As in other regions of the world, emerging resistance to the echinocandins among invasive isolates of C. glabrata bears close monitoring.

  11. Transcriptome analysis of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase A-regulated genes reveals the production of the novel natural compound fumipyrrole by Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Macheleidt, Juliane; Scherlach, Kirstin; Neuwirth, Toni; Schmidt-Heck, Wolfgang; Straßburger, Maria; Spraker, Joseph; Baccile, Joshua A; Schroeder, Frank C; Keller, Nancy P; Hertweck, Christian; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Brakhage, Axel A

    2015-04-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic human pathogenic fungus causing life-threatening infections in immunocompromised patients. Adaptation to different habitats and also virulence of the fungus depends on signal perception and transduction by modules such as the cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) pathway. Here, by transcriptome analysis, 632 differentially regulated genes of this important signaling cascade were identified, including 23 putative transcriptional regulators. The highest upregulated transcription factor gene was located in a previously unknown secondary metabolite gene cluster, which we named fmp, encoding an incomplete non-ribosomal peptide synthetase, FmpE. Overexpression of the regulatory gene fmpR using the Tet(On) system led to the specific expression of the other six genes of the fmp cluster. Metabolic profiling of wild type and fmpR overexpressing strain by HPLC-DAD and HPLC-HRESI-MS and structure elucidation by NMR led to identification of 5-benzyl-1H-pyrrole-2-carboxylic acid, which we named fumipyrrole. Fumipyrrole was not described as natural product yet. Chemical synthesis of fumipyrrole confirmed its structure. Interestingly, deletion of fmpR or fmpE led to reduced growth and sporulation of the mutant strains. Although fmp cluster genes were transcribed in infected mouse lungs, deletion of fmpR resulted in wild-type virulence in a murine infection model.

  12. Inhibition of Aspergillus fumigatus and Its Biofilm by Pseudomonas aeruginosa Is Dependent on the Source, Phenotype and Growth Conditions of the Bacterium.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Jose A G; Penner, John C; Moss, Richard B; Haagensen, Janus A J; Clemons, Karl V; Spormann, Alfred M; Nazik, Hasan; Cohen, Kevin; Banaei, Niaz; Carolino, Elisabete; Stevens, David A

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus (Af) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) are leading fungal and bacterial pathogens, respectively, in many clinical situations. Relevant to this, their interface and co-existence has been studied. In some experiments in vitro, Pa products have been defined that are inhibitory to Af. In some clinical situations, both can be biofilm producers, and biofilm could alter their physiology and affect their interaction. That may be most relevant to airways in cystic fibrosis (CF), where both are often prominent residents. We have studied clinical Pa isolates from several sources for their effects on Af, including testing involving their biofilms. We show that the described inhibition of Af is related to the source and phenotype of the Pa isolate. Pa cells inhibited the growth and formation of Af biofilm from conidia, with CF isolates more inhibitory than non-CF isolates, and non-mucoid CF isolates most inhibitory. Inhibition did not require live Pa contact, as culture filtrates were also inhibitory, and again non-mucoid>mucoid CF>non-CF. Preformed Af biofilm was more resistant to Pa, and inhibition that occurred could be reproduced with filtrates. Inhibition of Af biofilm appears also dependent on bacterial growth conditions; filtrates from Pa grown as biofilm were more inhibitory than from Pa grown planktonically. The differences in Pa shown from these different sources are consistent with the extensive evolutionary Pa changes that have been described in association with chronic residence in CF airways, and may reflect adaptive changes to life in a polymicrobial environment.

  13. Assessment of Aspergillus fumigatus burden in lungs of intratracheally-challenged turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) by quantitative PCR, galactomannan enzyme immunoassay, and quantitative culture.

    PubMed

    Melloul, Elise; Thierry, Simon; Durand, Benoit; Cordonnier, Nathalie; Desoubeaux, Guillaume; Chandenier, Jacques; Bostvironnois, Christophe; Botterel, Françoise; Chermette, René; Guillot, Jacques; Arné, Pascal

    2014-12-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus remains a major respiratory pathogen in birds and treatment is still difficult. We challenged different groups of few-day-old turkeys via intratracheal aerosolisation with increasing concentrations (10(5) up to 10(8)) of conidia using a MicroSprayer(®) device. The fungal burden was assessed by real-time PCR, galactomannan dosage, CFU counting and histopathological evaluation in order to provide a comparison of these results within each inoculum groups. Significant mortality, occurring in the first 96h after inoculation, was only observed at the highest inoculum dose. Culture counts, GM index and qPCR results on the one hand and inoculum size on the other hand appeared to be clearly correlated. The mean fungal burden detected by qPCR was 1.3log10 units higher than the mean values obtained by CFU measurement. The new model and the markers will be used to evaluate the efficacy of antifungal treatments that could be used in poultry farms.

  14. A Conserved C-Terminal Domain of the Aspergillus fumigatus Developmental Regulator MedA Is Required for Nuclear Localization, Adhesion and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Al Abdallah, Qusai; Choe, Se-In; Campoli, Paolo; Baptista, Stefanie; Gravelat, Fabrice N.; Lee, Mark J.; Sheppard, Donald C.

    2012-01-01

    MedA is a developmental regulator that is conserved in the genome of most filamentous fungi. In the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus MedA regulates conidiogenesis, adherence to host cells, and pathogenicity. The mechanism by which MedA governs these phenotypes remains unknown. Although the nuclear import of MedA orthologues has been reported in other fungi, no nuclear localization signal, DNA-binding domain or other conserved motifs have been identified within MedA. In this work, we performed a deletion analysis of MedA and identified a novel domain within the C-terminal region of the protein, designated MedA346–557, that is necessary and sufficient for nuclear localization of MedA. We further demonstrate that MedA nuclear localization is required for the function of MedA. Surprisingly, expression of the minimal nuclear localization fragment MedA346–557 alone was sufficient to restore conidogenesis, biofilm formation and virulence to the medA mutant strain. Collectively these results suggest that MedA functions in the regulation of transcription, and that the MedA346–557 domain is both necessary and sufficient to mediate MedA function. PMID:23185496

  15. Ergot alkaloid biosynthesis in Aspergillus fumigatus: conversion of chanoclavine-I to chanoclavine-I aldehyde catalyzed by a short-chain alcohol dehydrogenase FgaDH.

    PubMed

    Wallwey, Christiane; Matuschek, Marco; Li, Shu-Ming

    2010-02-01

    Ergot alkaloids are toxins and important pharmaceuticals which are produced biotechnologically on an industrial scale. A putative gene fgaDH has been identified in the biosynthetic gene cluster of fumigaclavine C, an ergot alkaloid of the clavine-type. The deduced gene product FgaDH comprises 261 amino acids with a molecular mass of about 27.8 kDa and contains the conserved motifs of classical short-chain dehydrogenases/reductases (SDRs), but shares no worth mentioning sequence similarity with SDRs and other known proteins. The coding region of fgaDH consisting of two exons was amplified by PCR from a cDNA library of Aspergillus fumigatus, cloned into pQE60 and overexpressed in E. coli. The soluble tetrameric His(6)-FgaDH was purified to apparent homogeneity and characterized biochemically. It has been shown that FgaDH catalyzes the oxidation of chanoclavine-I in the presence of NAD(+) resulting in the formation of chanoclavine-I aldehyde, which was unequivocally identified by NMR and MS analyzes. Therefore, FgaDH functions as a chanoclavine-I dehydrogenase and represents a new group of short-chain dehydrogenases. K (M) values for chanoclavine-I and NAD(+) were determined at 0.27 and 1.1 mM, respectively. The turnover number was 0.38 s(-1). PMID:20039019

  16. Reverse prenyltransferase in the biosynthesis of fumigaclavine C in Aspergillus fumigatus: gene expression, purification, and characterization of fumigaclavine C synthase FGAPT1.

    PubMed

    Unsöld, Inge A; Li, Shu-Ming

    2006-01-01

    A putative prenyltransferase gene-fgaPT1-has been identified in the biosynthetic gene cluster of fumigaclavines in Aspergillus fumigatus AF293. The gene was cloned and overexpressed in Escherichia coli, and the His6-fusion FgaPT1 was purified to near homogeneity and characterized biochemically. The enzyme was found to convert fumigaclavine A into fumigaclavine C by attaching a dimethylallyl moiety to C-2 of the indole nucleus in a "reverse" manner, that is, by connection of C-3 of the dimethylallyl moiety to an aromatic nucleus. FgaPT1 is a soluble, dimeric protein with a subunit size of 50 kDa. K m(app) values for fumigaclavine A and dimethylallyl diphosphate were determined to be 6 and 13 microM, respectively, while the turnover number was 0.8 s(-1). Metal ions such as Mg2+ and Ca2+ are not essential for the enzymatic activity. FgaPT1 showed relatively strict substrate specificity towards fumigaclavine A, with only dimethylallyl diphosphate being accepted as a donor under our conditions. FgaPT1 is the first reverse prenyltransferase from fungi to have been purified and characterized in homogenous form after heterologous overproduction. Surprisingly, it shows very low sequence similarity to the recently identified prenyltransferase LtxC from cyanobacteria, which also catalyzes the reverse prenylation of an indole nucleus. PMID:16397874

  17. Banana peel: a potential substrate for laccase production by Aspergillus fumigatus VkJ2.4.5 in solid-state fermentation.

    PubMed

    Vivekanand, V; Dwivedi, Pallavi; Pareek, Nidhi; Singh, Rajesh P

    2011-09-01

    In solid-state fermentation, among various solid supports evaluated, banana peel was found to be an ideal support and resulted into higher levels of laccase (6281.4 ± 63.60 U l(-1)) along with notable levels of manganese peroxidase production (1339.0 ± 131.23 U l(-1)) by Aspergillus fumigatus VkJ2.4.5. Maximum levels of laccase was achieved under derived conditions consisting of 80% of moisture level, 6 days of incubation period, 6% inoculum level, and an aeration level of 2.5 l min(-1). A column-tray bioreactor was designed to scale up and economize the enzyme production in three successive cycles of fermentation using the same fungal biomass. Thermal and pH stability profiles revealed that enzyme was stable up to 50°C and at varying pH range from 5-9 for up to 2 h. The apparent molecular weight of laccase was found to be 34 ± 1 kDa. MALDI-TOF/TOF analysis of the protein showed significant homology with maximum identity of 67% to other laccases reported in database.

  18. Phenotypic characterization of Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans grown under simulated microgravity using a three-dimensional clinostat.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, Takashi; Yoshimoto, Maki; Nishiyama, Yayoi; Okubo, Yoichiro; Makimura, Koichi

    2012-07-01

    The living and working environments of spacecraft become progressively contaminated by a number of microorganisms. A large number of microorganisms, including pathogenic microorganisms, some of which are fungi, have been found in the cabins of space stations. However, it is not known how the characteristics of microorganisms change in the space environment. To predict how a microgravity environment might affect fungi, and thus how their characteristics could change on board spacecraft, strains of the pathogenic fungi Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans were subjected to on-ground tests in a simulated microgravity environment produced by a three-dimensional (3D) clinostat. These fungi were incubated and cultured in a 3D clinostat in a simulated microgravity environment. No positive or negative differences in morphology, asexual reproductive capability, or susceptibility to antifungal agents were observed in cultures grown under simulated microgravity compared to those grown in normal earth gravity (1 G). These results strongly suggest that a microgravity environment, such as that on board spacecraft, allows growth of potentially pathogenic fungi that can contaminate the living environment for astronauts in spacecraft in the same way as they contaminate residential areas on earth. They also suggest that these organisms pose a similar risk of opportunistic infections or allergies in astronauts as they do in people with compromised immunity on the ground and that treatment of fungal infections in space could be the same as on earth. PMID:22537211

  19. 1,25(OH)2D3 and VDR Signaling Pathways Regulate the Inhibition of Dectin-1 Caused by Cyclosporine A in Response to Aspergillus Fumigatus in Human Corneal Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Yiping; Zhao, Guiqiu; Lin, Jing; Li, Cui; Cong, Lin; Jiang, Nan; Xu, Qiang; Wang, Qian

    2016-01-01

    Background The objective of this study is to observe whether cyclosporine A (CsA) inhibits the expression of dectin-1 in human corneal epithelial cells infected with Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) and to investigate the molecular mechanisms of the inhibition. Methods Immortalized human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs) were pretreated with 1,25(OH)2D3 and VDR inhibitor for 1 h, and then they were pretreated with CsA for 12h. After these pretreatments, the HCECs were stimulated with A. fumigatus and curdlan respectively, and the expression of dectin-1 and proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1β and TNF-α) were detected by RT-PCR, western blot and ELISA. Results Dectin-1 mRNA and dectin-1 protein expression increased when HCECs were stimulated with A. fumigatus or curdlan, and CsA inhibited the dectin-1 expression both in mRNA and protein levels specifically. Dectin-1 and proinflammatory cytokine expression levels were higher when HCECs were pretreated with VDR inhibitor and CsA compared to pretreatment with CsA alone, while dectin-1 and proinflammatory cytokine levels were lower when HCECs were pretreated with 1,25(OH)2D3 and CsA compared to pretreatment with CsA alone. Conclusions These data provide evidence that CsA can inhibit the expression of dectin-1 and proinflammatory cytokines through dectin-1 when HCECs are stimulated by A. fumigatus or curdlan. The active form of vitamin D, 1,25(OH)2D3, and VDR signaling pathway regulate the inhibition of CsA. The inhibition is enhanced by 1,25(OH)2D3, and the VDR inhibitor suppresses the inhibition. PMID:27755569

  20. Study of the essentiality of the Aspergillus fumigatus triA gene, encoding RNA triphosphatase, using the heterokaryon rescue technique and the conditional gene expression driven by the alcA and niiA promoters.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, M Cândida; De Lucas, J Ramón

    2010-01-01

    The identification of essential genes represents a critical step in the discovery of novel therapeutic targets in Aspergillus fumigatus. Structural analyses of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae RNA triphosphatase pointed out this enzyme as an attractive therapeutic target for fungal infections. In addition, demonstration of the essentiality of the S. cerevisiae RNA triphosphatase encoding gene enhanced the value of this potential therapeutic target. Nevertheless, consideration of a fungal RNA triphosphatase as an ideal therapeutic target needs confirmation of the essentiality of the respective gene in a fungal pathogen. In this work, we analyzed the essentiality of the A. fumigatus triA gene, encoding RNA triphosphatase, by conditional gene expression and heterokaryon deletion. Using the conditional gene expression driven by the alcA promoter (alcA(P)), we found that TriA depletion causes morphological abnormalities that result in a very strong growth inhibition. Nevertheless, since a strict terminal phenotype was not observed, the essentiality of the triA gene could not be ensured. Accordingly, the essentiality of this gene was analyzed by the heterokaryon rescue technique. Results obtained unequivocally demonstrated the essentiality of the A. fumigatus triA gene, indicating the suitability of the RNA triphosphatase as an ideal therapeutic target to treat A. fumigatus infections. Besides, a second conditional gene expression system, based on the niiA promoter (niiA(P)), was utilized in this work. Although the niiA(P)-mediated repression of triA was less severe than that driven by the alcA(P), a strong growth inhibition was also found in niiA(P)-triA strains. Finally, E-tests performed to determine whether triA down-regulated cells became more sensitive to antifungals suggest a synergic effect between amphotericin B and another antifungal inhibiting the A. fumigatus RNA triphosphatase activity.

  1. JAK/STAT regulation of Aspergillus fumigatus corneal infections and IL-6/23-stimulated neutrophil, IL-17, elastase, and MMP9 activity.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Patricia R; Roy, Sanhita; Meszaros, Evan C; Sun, Yan; Howell, Scott J; Malemud, Charles J; Pearlman, Eric

    2016-07-01

    IL-6 and IL-23 (IL-6/23) induce IL-17A (IL-17) production by a subpopulation of murine and human neutrophils, resulting in autocrine IL-17 activation, enhanced production of reactive oxygen species, and increased fungal killing. As IL-6 and IL-23 receptors trigger JAK1, -3/STAT3 and JAK2/STAT3 phosphorylation, respectively, we examined the role of this pathway in a murine model of fungal keratitis and also examined neutrophil elastase and gelatinase (matrix metalloproteinase 9) activity by IL-6/23-stimulated human neutrophils in vitro. We found that STAT3 phosphorylation of neutrophils in Aspergillus fumigatus-infected corne as was inhibited by the JAK/STAT inhibitor Ruxolitinib, resulting in impaired fungal killing and decreased matrix metalloproteinase 9 activity. In vitro, we showed that fungal killing by IL-6/23-stimulated human peripheral blood neutrophils was impaired by JAK/STAT inhibitors Ruxolitinib and Stattic, and by the retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor γt inhibitor SR1001. This was also associated with decreased reactive oxygen species, IL-17A production, and retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor γt translocation to the nucleus. We also demonstrate that IL-6/23-activated neutrophils exhibit increased elastase and gelatinase (matrix metalloproteinase 9) activity, which is inhibited by Ruxolitinib and Stattic but not by SR1001. Taken together, these observations indicate that the regulation of activity of IL-17-producing neutrophils by JAK/STAT inhibitors impairs reactive oxygen species production and fungal killing activity but also blocks elastase and gelatinase activity that can cause tissue damage. PMID:27034404

  2. A Novel C2H2 Transcription Factor that Regulates gliA Expression Interdependently with GliZ in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Schoberle, Taylor J.; Nguyen-Coleman, C. Kim; Herold, Jennifer; Yang, Ally; Weirauch, Matt; Hughes, Timothy R.; McMurray, John S.; May, Gregory S.

    2014-01-01

    Secondary metabolites are produced by numerous organisms and can either be beneficial, benign, or harmful to humans. Genes involved in the synthesis and transport of these secondary metabolites are frequently found in gene clusters, which are often coordinately regulated, being almost exclusively dependent on transcription factors that are located within the clusters themselves. Gliotoxin, which is produced by a variety of Aspergillus species, Trichoderma species, and Penicillium species, exhibits immunosuppressive properties and has therefore been the subject of research for many laboratories. There have been a few proteins shown to regulate the gliotoxin cluster, most notably GliZ, a Zn2Cys6 binuclear finger transcription factor that lies within the cluster, and LaeA, a putative methyltransferase that globally regulates secondary metabolism clusters within numerous fungal species. Using a high-copy inducer screen in A. fumigatus, our lab has identified a novel C2H2 transcription factor, which plays an important role in regulating the gliotoxin biosynthetic cluster. This transcription factor, named GipA, induces gliotoxin production when present in extra copies. Furthermore, loss of gipA reduces gliotoxin production significantly. Through protein binding microarray and mutagenesis, we have identified a DNA binding site recognized by GipA that is in extremely close proximity to a potential GliZ DNA binding site in the 5′ untranslated region of gliA, which encodes an efflux pump within the gliotoxin cluster. Not surprisingly, GliZ and GipA appear to work in an interdependent fashion to positively control gliA expression. PMID:24784729

  3. Analytical Comparison of In Vitro-Spiked Human Serum and Plasma for PCR-Based Detection of Aspergillus fumigatus DNA: a Study by the European Aspergillus PCR Initiative.

    PubMed

    Loeffler, Juergen; Mengoli, Carlo; Springer, Jan; Bretagne, Stéphane; Cuenca-Estrella, Manuel; Klingspor, Lena; Lagrou, Katrien; Melchers, Willem J G; Morton, C Oliver; Barnes, Rosemary A; Donnelly, J Peter; White, P Lewis

    2015-09-01

    The use of serum or plasma for Aspergillus PCR testing facilitates automated and standardized technology. Recommendations for serum testing are available, and while serum and plasma are regularly considered interchangeable for use in fungal diagnostics, differences in galactomannan enzyme immunoassay (GM-EIA) performance have been reported and are attributed to clot formation. Therefore, it is important to assess plasma PCR testing to determine if previous recommendations for serum are applicable and also to compare analytical performance with that of serum PCR. Molecular methods testing serum and plasma were compared through multicenter distribution of quality control panels, with additional studies to investigate the effect of clot formation and blood fractionation on DNA availability. Analytical sensitivity and time to positivity (TTP) were compared, and a regression analysis was performed to identify variables that enhanced plasma PCR performance. When testing plasma, sample volume, preextraction-to-postextraction volume ratio, PCR volume, duplicate testing, and the use of an internal control for PCR were positively associated with performance. When whole-blood samples were spiked and then fractionated, the analytical sensitivity and TTP were superior when testing plasma. Centrifugation had no effect on DNA availability, whereas the presence of clot material significantly lowered the concentration (P = 0.028). Technically, there are no major differences in the molecular processing of serum and plasma, but the formation of clot material potentially reduces available DNA in serum. During disease, Aspergillus DNA burdens in blood are often at the limits of PCR performance. Using plasma might improve performance while maintaining the methodological simplicity of serum testing.

  4. Severe pneumonia caused by combined infection with Pneumocystis jiroveci, parainfluenza virus type 3, cytomegalovirus, and Aspergillus fumigatus in a patient with Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Taehoon; Bae, Yun-Jeong; Park, Soo-Kyung; Park, Hyun Jung; Kim, Sung-Han; Cho, You Sook; Moon, Hee-Bom; Lee, Sang-Oh; Kim, Tae-Bum

    2010-11-01

    Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) are severe adverse cutaneous reactions to drugs. We report here the first case of severe pneumonia caused by an unusual combined infection with Pneumocystis carinii (jiroveci), parainfluenza virus type 3, cytomegalovirus and Aspergillus fumigatus in a 63-year-old female patient with allopurinol-induced SJS/TEN overlap syndrome. Following treatment with high-dose systemic corticosteroids and intravenous immunoglobulin for SJS/TEN, her mucocutaneous lesions improved and she was due to be discharged. However, 15 days after cessation of corticosteroids, she developed pneumonia. Broncho-alveolar lavage revealed that the cause of infection was Pneumocystis carinii (jiroveci), parainfluenza virus type 3, cytomegalovirus and Aspergillus. These findings indicate that patients with SJS/TEN, particularly those treated with systemic corticosteroids, may be susceptible to infection with combinations of pathological agents resulting from damage to the bronchial epithelia. PMID:21057748

  5. The Aspergillus fumigatus pkcAG579R Mutant Is Defective in the Activation of the Cell Wall Integrity Pathway but Is Dispensable for Virulence in a Neutropenic Mouse Infection Model

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, Marina Campos; de Godoy, Krissia Franco; de Castro, Patrícia Alves; Hori, Juliana Issa; Bom, Vinícius Leite Pedro; Brown, Neil Andrew; da Cunha, Anderson Ferreira; Goldman, Gustavo Henrique; Malavazi, Iran

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic human pathogen, which causes the life-threatening disease, invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. In fungi, cell wall homeostasis is controlled by the conserved Cell Wall Integrity (CWI) pathway. In A. fumigatus this signaling cascade is partially characterized, but the mechanisms by which it is activated are not fully elucidated. In this study we investigated the role of protein kinase C (PkcA) in this signaling cascade. Our results suggest that pkcA is an essential gene and is activated in response to cell wall stress. Subsequently, we constructed and analyzed a non-essential A. fumigatus pkcAG579R mutant, carrying a Gly579Arg substitution in the PkcA C1B regulatory domain. The pkcAG579R mutation has a reduced activation of the downstream Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase, MpkA, resulting in the altered expression of genes encoding cell wall-related proteins, markers of endoplasmic reticulum stress and the unfolded protein response. Furthermore, PkcAG579R is involved in the formation of proper conidial architecture and protection to oxidative damage. The pkcAG579R mutant elicits increased production of TNF-α and phagocytosis but it has no impact on virulence in a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. These results highlight the importance of PkcA to the CWI pathway but also indicated that additional regulatory circuits may be involved in the biosynthesis and/or reinforcement of the A. fumigatus cell wall during infection. PMID:26295576

  6. Quantitative Analysis of Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism for Rapid Detection of TR34/L98H- and TR46/Y121F/T289A-Positive Aspergillus fumigatus Isolates Obtained from Patients in Iran from 2010 to 2014

    PubMed Central

    Mohammadi, Faezeh; Hashemi, Seyed Jamal; Zoll, Jan; Melchers, Willem J. G.; Rafati, Haleh; Dehghan, Parvin; Rezaie, Sasan; Tolooe, Ali; Tamadon, Yalda; van der Lee, Henrich A.; Verweij, Paul E.

    2015-01-01

    We employed an endpoint genotyping method to update the prevalence rate of positivity for the TR34/L98H mutation (a 34-bp tandem repeat mutation in the promoter region of the cyp51A gene in combination with a substitution at codon L98) and the TR46/Y121F/T289A mutation (a 46-bp tandem repeat mutation in the promoter region of the cyp51A gene in combination with substitutions at codons Y121 and T289) among clinical Aspergillus fumigatus isolates obtained from different regions of Iran over a recent 5-year period (2010 to 2014). The antifungal activities of itraconazole, voriconazole, and posaconazole against 172 clinical A. fumigatus isolates were investigated using the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) broth microdilution method. For the isolates with an azole resistance phenotype, the cyp51A gene and its promoter were amplified and sequenced. In addition, using a LightCycler 480 real-time PCR system, a novel endpoint genotyping analysis method targeting single-nucleotide polymorphisms was evaluated to detect the L98H and Y121F mutations in the cyp51A gene of all isolates. Of the 172 A. fumigatus isolates tested, the MIC values of itraconazole (≥16 mg/liter) and voriconazole (>4 mg/liter) were high for 6 (3.5%). Quantitative analysis of single-nucleotide polymorphisms showed the TR34/L98H mutation in the cyp51A genes of six isolates. No isolates harboring the TR46/Y121F/T289A mutation were detected. DNA sequencing of the cyp51A gene confirmed the results of the novel endpoint genotyping method. By microsatellite typing, all of the azole-resistant isolates had genotypes different from those previously recovered from Iran and from the Dutch TR34/L98H controls. In conclusion, there was not a significant increase in the prevalence of azole-resistant A. fumigatus isolates harboring the TR34/L98H resistance mechanism among isolates recovered over a recent 5-year period (2010 to 2014) in Iran. A quantitative assay detecting a single

  7. Quantitative Analysis of Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism for Rapid Detection of TR34/L98H- and TR46/Y121F/T289A-Positive Aspergillus fumigatus Isolates Obtained from Patients in Iran from 2010 to 2014.

    PubMed

    Mohammadi, Faezeh; Hashemi, Seyed Jamal; Zoll, Jan; Melchers, Willem J G; Rafati, Haleh; Dehghan, Parvin; Rezaie, Sasan; Tolooe, Ali; Tamadon, Yalda; van der Lee, Henrich A; Verweij, Paul E; Seyedmousavi, Seyedmojtaba

    2015-11-02

    We employed an endpoint genotyping method to update the prevalence rate of positivity for the TR34/L98H mutation (a 34-bp tandem repeat mutation in the promoter region of the cyp51A gene in combination with a substitution at codon L98) and the TR46/Y121F/T289A mutation (a 46-bp tandem repeat mutation in the promoter region of the cyp51A gene in combination with substitutions at codons Y121 and T289) among clinical Aspergillus fumigatus isolates obtained from different regions of Iran over a recent 5-year period (2010 to 2014). The antifungal activities of itraconazole, voriconazole, and posaconazole against 172 clinical A. fumigatus isolates were investigated using the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) broth microdilution method. For the isolates with an azole resistance phenotype, the cyp51A gene and its promoter were amplified and sequenced. In addition, using a LightCycler 480 real-time PCR system, a novel endpoint genotyping analysis method targeting single-nucleotide polymorphisms was evaluated to detect the L98H and Y121F mutations in the cyp51A gene of all isolates. Of the 172 A. fumigatus isolates tested, the MIC values of itraconazole (≥16 mg/liter) and voriconazole (>4 mg/liter) were high for 6 (3.5%). Quantitative analysis of single-nucleotide polymorphisms showed the TR34/L98H mutation in the cyp51A genes of six isolates. No isolates harboring the TR46/Y121F/T289A mutation were detected. DNA sequencing of the cyp51A gene confirmed the results of the novel endpoint genotyping method. By microsatellite typing, all of the azole-resistant isolates had genotypes different from those previously recovered from Iran and from the Dutch TR34/L98H controls. In conclusion, there was not a significant increase in the prevalence of azole-resistant A. fumigatus isolates harboring the TR34/L98H resistance mechanism among isolates recovered over a recent 5-year period (2010 to 2014) in Iran. A quantitative assay detecting a single

  8. An in vitro and in vivo study on the synergistic effect and mechanism of itraconazole or voriconazole alone and in combination with tetrandrine against Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Li, Shui-Xiu; Song, Yan-Jun; Zhang, Ling-Ling; Shi, Jian-Ping; Ma, Zheng-Lai; Guo, Hui; Dong, Hui-Yu; Li, Yi-Ming; Zhang, Hong

    2015-09-01

    In this study, we investigated the in vitro antifungal effects of itraconazole/voriconazole (ITR/VRC) alone and in combination with tetrandrine (TET) against 23 clinical isolates of A. fumigatus using a chequerboard microdilution method. The dynamic antifungal effects of TET with ITR/VRC against A. fumigatus were assessed in vivo using time-kill curves following systemic infection of mice with A. fumigatus. After treatment, efflux pump activity was determined by the efflux of rhodamine 6G (R6G). When ITR was combined with TET, ITR MICs were reduced from 0.125-32 to 0.0625-2 μg ml(-1), and TET MICs were reduced from 256-512 to 8-64 μg ml(-1). When VRC was combined with TET, VRC MICs were reduced from 0.125-2 to 0.03125-0.5 μg ml(-1), and TET MICs were reduced from 256-512 to 8-256 μg ml(-1). Time-kill curves revealed that A. fumigatus viability was reduced after treatment with ITR/VRC combined with TET versus ITR/VRC alone. ITR/VRC combined with TET significantly prolonged mouse survival and reduced kidney and brain tissue burdens versus ITR/VRC alone (P < 0.05). Moreover, TET inhibited R6G efflux of A. fumigatus. Thus, in vitro and in vivo, TET acted synergistically with ITR/VRC against A. fumigatus, and the synergistic mechanism was related to inhibition of the drug efflux pump. PMID:26296880

  9. Characterisation of the Candida albicans Phosphopantetheinyl Transferase Ppt2 as a Potential Antifungal Drug Target

    PubMed Central

    Dobb, Katharine S.; Kaye, Sarah J.; Beckmann, Nicola; Thain, John L.; Stateva, Lubomira; Birch, Mike; Oliver, Jason D.

    2015-01-01

    Antifungal drugs acting via new mechanisms of action are urgently needed to combat the increasing numbers of severe fungal infections caused by pathogens such as Candida albicans. The phosphopantetheinyl transferase of Aspergillus fumigatus, encoded by the essential gene pptB, has previously been identified as a potential antifungal target. This study investigated the function of its orthologue in C. albicans, PPT2/C1_09480W by placing one allele under the control of the regulatable MET3 promoter, and deleting the remaining allele. The phenotypes of this conditional null mutant showed that, as in A. fumigatus, the gene PPT2 is essential for growth in C. albicans, thus fulfilling one aspect of an efficient antifungal target. The catalytic activity of Ppt2 as a phosphopantetheinyl transferase and the acyl carrier protein Acp1 as a substrate were demonstrated in a fluorescence transfer assay, using recombinant Ppt2 and Acp1 produced and purified from E.coli. A fluorescence polarisation assay amenable to high-throughput screening was also developed. Therefore we have identified Ppt2 as a broad-spectrum novel antifungal target and developed tools to identify inhibitors as potentially new antifungal compounds. PMID:26606674

  10. Study of lignin biotransformation by Aspergillus fumigatus and white-rot fungi using /sup 14/C-labeled and unlabeled kraft lignins

    SciTech Connect

    Kadam, K.K.; Drew, S.W.

    1986-01-01

    The biodegradation of lignin by fungi was studied in shake flasks using /sup 14/C-labeled kraft lignin and in a deep-tank fermentor using unlabeled kraft lignin. Among the fungi screened, A. fumigatus - isolated in our laboratories - was most potent in lignin biotransformation. Dialysis-type fermentation, designed to study possible accumulation of low MW lignin-derived products, showed no such accumulation. Recalcitrant carbohydrates like microcrystalline cellulose supported higher lignolytic activity than easily metabolized carbohydrates like cellobiose. An assay developed to distinguish between CO/sub 2/ evolved from lignin and carbohydrate substrates demonstrated no stoichiometric correlation between the metabolism of the two cosubstrates. The submerged fermentations with unlabeled liqnin are difficult to monitor since chemical assays do not give accurate and true results. Lignolytic efficiencies that allowed monitoring of such fermentations were defined. Degraded lignins were clearly superior to C. versicolor in all aspects of lignin degradation; A fumigatus brought about substantial demethoxylation and dehydroxylation, whereas C. versicolor degraded lignins closely resembled undegraded kraft lignin. There was a good agreement among the different indices of lignin degradation, namely, /sup 14/CO evolution, OCH/sub 3/ loss, OH loss, and monomer and dimer yield after permanganate oxidation.

  11. Ergot alkaloid biosynthesis in Aspergillus fumigatus: Conversion of chanoclavine-I aldehyde to festuclavine by the festuclavine synthase FgaFS in the presence of the old yellow enzyme FgaOx3.

    PubMed

    Wallwey, Christiane; Matuschek, Marco; Xie, Xiu-Lan; Li, Shu-Ming

    2010-08-01

    Ergot alkaloids are toxins and important pharmaceuticals which are produced biotechnologically on an industrial scale. A putative gene fgaFS has been identified in the biosynthetic gene cluster of fumigaclavine C, an ergot alkaloid of the clavine-type. The deduced gene product FgaFS comprises 290 amino acids with a molecular mass of about 32.1 kDa. The coding region of fgaFS consisting of three exons was amplified by PCR from a cDNA library of Aspergillus fumigatus, cloned into pQE70 and overexpressed in E. coli. The soluble monomeric His(6)-FgaFS was purified by affinity chromatography and used for enzyme assays. It has been shown that FgaFS is responsible for the conversion of chanoclavine-I aldehyde to festuclavine in the presence of the old yellow enzyme FgaOx3. The structure of festuclavine including the stereochemistry was unequivocally elucidated by NMR and MS analyses. Festuclavine formation was only observed when chanoclavine-I aldehyde was incubated with FgaOx3 and FgaFS simultaneously or as a tandem-reaction with a sequence of FgaOx3 before FgaFS. In the absence of FgaFS, two shunt products were formed and did not serve as substrates for FgaFS reaction. PMID:20526482

  12. Role of Ser-257 in the sliding mechanism of NADP(H) in the reaction catalyzed by the Aspergillus fumigatus flavin-dependent ornithine N5-monooxygenase SidA.

    PubMed

    Shirey, Carolyn; Badieyan, Somayesadat; Sobrado, Pablo

    2013-11-01

    SidA (siderophore A) is a flavin-dependent N-hydroxylating monooxygenase that is essential for virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus. SidA catalyzes the NADPH- and oxygen-dependent formation of N(5)-hydroxyornithine. In this reaction, NADPH reduces the flavin, and the resulting NADP(+) is the last product to be released. The presence of NADP(+) is essential for activity, as it is required for stabilization of the C4a-hydroperoxyflavin, which is the hydroxylating species. As part of our efforts to determine the molecular details of the role of NADP(H) in catalysis, we targeted Ser-257 for site-directed mutagenesis and performed extensive characterization of the S257A enzyme. Using a combination of steady-state and stopped-flow kinetic experiments, substrate analogs, and primary kinetic isotope effects, we show that the interaction between Ser-257 and NADP(H) is essential for stabilization of the C4a-hydroperoxyflavin. Molecular dynamics simulation results suggest that Ser-257 functions as a pivot point, allowing the nicotinamide of NADP(+) to slide into position for stabilization of the C4a-hydroperoxyflavin.

  13. Reshuffling of Aspergillus fumigatus cell wall components chitin and β-glucan under the influence of caspofungin or nikkomycin Z alone or in combination.

    PubMed

    Verwer, Patricia E B; van Duijn, M L; Tavakol, M; Bakker-Woudenberg, Irma A J M; van de Sande, Wendy W J

    2012-03-01

    Chitin and β-glucan are major cell wall components of Aspergillus spp. We investigated the antifungal activity of chitin synthesis inhibitors nikkomycin Z, polyoxin D, flufenoxuron, lufenuron, and teflubenzuron, alone and combined with the β-glucan synthesis inhibitor caspofungin. Only nikkomycin Z and caspofungin were found to act synergistically. The nikkomycin Z-induced chitin decrease corresponded with a β-glucan increase, while with the caspofungin-induced β-glucan decrease, an increase in chitin was found. This could explain the synergistic activity of this combination of drugs. PMID:22203603

  14. Reshuffling of Aspergillus fumigatus Cell Wall Components Chitin and β-Glucan under the Influence of Caspofungin or Nikkomycin Z Alone or in Combination

    PubMed Central

    van Duijn, M. L.; Tavakol, M.; Bakker-Woudenberg, Irma A. J. M.; van de Sande, Wendy W. J.

    2012-01-01

    Chitin and β-glucan are major cell wall components of Aspergillus spp. We investigated the antifungal activity of chitin synthesis inhibitors nikkomycin Z, polyoxin D, flufenoxuron, lufenuron, and teflubenzuron, alone and combined with the β-glucan synthesis inhibitor caspofungin. Only nikkomycin Z and caspofungin were found to act synergistically. The nikkomycin Z-induced chitin decrease corresponded with a β-glucan increase, while with the caspofungin-induced β-glucan decrease, an increase in chitin was found. This could explain the synergistic activity of this combination of drugs. PMID:22203603

  15. Impaired killing of Candida albicans by granulocytes mobilized for transfusion purposes: a role for granule components

    PubMed Central

    Gazendam, Roel P.; van de Geer, Annemarie; van Hamme, John L.; Tool, Anton T.J.; van Rees, Dieke J.; Aarts, Cathelijn E.M.; van den Biggelaar, Maartje; van Alphen, Floris; Verkuijlen, Paul; Meijer, Alexander B.; Janssen, Hans; Roos, Dirk; van den Berg, Timo K.; Kuijpers, Taco W.

    2016-01-01

    Granulocyte transfusions are used to treat neutropenic patients with life-threatening bacterial or fungal infections that do not respond to anti-microbial drugs. Donor neutrophils that have been mobilized with granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) and dexamethasone are functional in terms of antibacterial activity, but less is known about their fungal killing capacity. We investigated the neutrophil-mediated cytotoxic response against C. albicans and A. fumigatus in detail. Whereas G-CSF/dexamethasone-mobilized neutrophils appeared less mature as compared to neutrophils from untreated controls, these cells exhibited normal ROS production by the NADPH oxidase system and an unaltered granule mobilization capacity upon stimulation. G-CSF/dexamethasone-mobilized neutrophils efficiently inhibited A. fumigatus germination and killed Aspergillus and Candida hyphae, but the killing of C. albicans yeasts was distinctly impaired. Following normal Candida phagocytosis, analysis by mass spectrometry of purified phagosomes after fusion with granules demonstrated that major constituents of the antimicrobial granule components, including major basic protein (MBP), were reduced. Purified MBP showed candidacidal activity, and neutrophil-like Crisp-Cas9 NB4-KO-MBP differentiated into phagocytes were impaired in Candida killing. Together, these findings indicate that G-CSF/dexamethasone-mobilized neutrophils for transfusion purposes have a selectively impaired capacity to kill Candida yeasts, as a consequence of an altered neutrophil granular content. PMID:26802050

  16. Impaired killing of Candida albicans by granulocytes mobilized for transfusion purposes: a role for granule components.

    PubMed

    Gazendam, Roel P; van de Geer, Annemarie; van Hamme, John L; Tool, Anton T J; van Rees, Dieke J; Aarts, Cathelijn E M; van den Biggelaar, Maartje; van Alphen, Floris; Verkuijlen, Paul; Meijer, Alexander B; Janssen, Hans; Roos, Dirk; van den Berg, Timo K; Kuijpers, Taco W

    2016-05-01

    Granulocyte transfusions are used to treat neutropenic patients with life-threatening bacterial or fungal infections that do not respond to anti-microbial drugs. Donor neutrophils that have been mobilized with granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) and dexamethasone are functional in terms of antibacterial activity, but less is known about their fungal killing capacity. We investigated the neutrophil-mediated cytotoxic response against C. albicans and A. fumigatus in detail. Whereas G-CSF/dexamethasone-mobilized neutrophils appeared less mature as compared to neutrophils from untreated controls, these cells exhibited normal ROS production by the NADPH oxidase system and an unaltered granule mobilization capacity upon stimulation. G-CSF/dexamethasone-mobilized neutrophils efficiently inhibited A. fumigatus germination and killed Aspergillus and Candida hyphae, but the killing of C. albicans yeasts was distinctly impaired. Following normal Candida phagocytosis, analysis by mass spectrometry of purified phagosomes after fusion with granules demonstrated that major constituents of the antimicrobial granule components, including major basic protein (MBP), were reduced. Purified MBP showed candidacidal activity, and neutrophil-like Crisp-Cas9 NB4-KO-MBP differentiated into phagocytes were impaired in Candida killing. Together, these findings indicate that G-CSF/dexamethasone-mobilized neutrophils for transfusion purposes have a selectively impaired capacity to kill Candida yeasts, as a consequence of an altered neutrophil granular content. PMID:26802050

  17. Isolation of pathogenic Aspergillus species from commercially-prepared potting media.

    PubMed

    Kenyon, E M; Russell, L H; McMurray, D N

    1984-09-30

    Twelve commercially-prepared potting soils were screened for the presence of pathogenic Aspergillus species. Pathogenic Aspergillus species were isolated from 67% of the soils. A fumigatus was isolated from 42% and A. flavus and A. niger from 33%.

  18. In vitro interactions of antifungal agents and tacrolimus against Aspergillus biofilms.

    PubMed

    Gao, Lujuan; Sun, Yi

    2015-11-01

    Aspergillus biofilms were prepared from Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus, and Aspergillus terreus via a 96-well plate-based method, and the combined antifungal activity of tacrolimus with azoles or amphotericin B against Aspergillus biofilms was investigated via a broth microdilution checkerboard technique system. Our results suggest that combinations of tacrolimus with voriconazole or amphotericin B have synergistic inhibitory activity against Aspergillus biofilms. However, combinations of tacrolimus with itraconazole or posaconazole exhibit no synergistic or antagonistic effects.

  19. Pulmonary hyalinizing granuloma associated with Aspergillus infection.

    PubMed

    Pinckard, J Keith; Rosenbluth, Daniel B; Patel, Kishor; Dehner, Louis P; Pfeifer, John D

    2003-01-01

    A 38-year-old immunocompetent man with occupational exposure to Aspergillus presented with dyspnea, pleuritic chest pain, and hemoptysis. Chest roentgenograms and computed tomography scans demonstrated multiple pulmonary nodules bilaterally. An initial set of bronchial washing cultures grew Aspergillus fumigatus, serologic testing showed an elevated anti-Aspergillus titer, and immunodiffusion testing was positive for antibody against A. fumigatus and A. niger. There was no microbiologic or serologic evidence of infection by other pathogens, and no clinical or laboratory evidence of autoimmune disease. An open lung biopsy was diagnostic of pulmonary hyalinizing granuloma. This novel association with Aspergillus infection not only expands the spectrum of pathogens linked to pulmonary hyalinizing granuloma but also documents a new pattern of lung disease that can be caused by Aspergillus. PMID:12598920

  20. Tetracycline alters drug susceptibility in Candida albicans and other pathogenic fungi

    PubMed Central

    Oliver, Brian G.; Silver, Peter M.; Marie, Chelsea; Hoot, Samantha J.; Leyde, Sarah E.; White, Theodore C.

    2008-01-01

    Summary The tetracycline (TET) promoter has been used in several systems as an inducible regulator of gene expression. In control analyses, the standard Candida albicans laboratory strain SC5314 was found to have altered susceptibility to a variety of antifungal drugs in the presence of relatively high concentrations (50 to 200 μg/ml) of TET. Altered susceptibility was most notable with exposure to amphotericin B (AMB) with a 32 fold increase in susceptibility, and terbinafine (TRB) with a 32 fold decrease in susceptibility. The TET/AMB synergy was observed in several clinical isolates of C. albicans and in distantly related species Aspergillus fumigatus, and Cryptococcus neoformans. The TET/AMB synergy is not related to efflux pump activity, as determined by FACS analyses and by analysis of a strain containing efflux pump deletions. Gene expression analyses by luciferase and by quantitative real time reverse transcriptase PCR failed to identify significant alterations in expression of any genes associated with resistance. C. albicans grown in TET for 48 h does show a reduction in total cellular ergosterol. Analysis of growth curves suggests that the TET effect is associated with lack of a diauxic shift, which is related to a loss of mitochondrial function. MitoTracker fluorescent dye was used to demonstrate that TET has a direct effect on mitochondrial function. These results demonstrate the need for careful analysis of TET effects when using a TET-inducible promoter, especially in studies that involve antifungal drugs. This study defines some limits to the use of the TET inducible promoter, and identifies effects on cells that are the result of TET exposure alone, not the result of expression of a targeted gene. PMID:18310042

  1. Interlaboratory comparison of PCR-based identification of Candida and Aspergillus DNA in spiked blood samples.

    PubMed

    Reichard, Utz; Buchheidt, Dieter; Lass-Flörl, Cornelia; Loeffler, Juergen; Lugert, Raimond; Ruhnke, Markus; Tintelnot, Kathrin; Weig, Michael; Groß, Uwe

    2012-09-01

    Despite PCR per se being a powerful and sensitive technique, regarding the detection of fungi in patients' blood, no consensus for a standardised PCR protocol yet exists. To complement other ongoing or accomplished studies which tackle this problem, the German Reference Center for Systemic Mycoses conducted an interlaboratory comparison starting with blood samples spiked with fungal cell elements. Altogether, six laboratories using in-house PCR-protocols from Germany and Austria participated in the trial. Blood samples were spiked with vital cells of Candida albicans or Aspergillus fumigatus. Candida was used in the yeast form, whereas Aspergillus cells were either spiked as conidia or as very young germlings, also known as smoo cells. Spiked blood samples contained between 10 and 10 000 cells ml(-1). Depending on the techniques used for fungal cell disruption and DNA-amplification, detection quality was variable between laboratories, but also differed within single laboratories in different trials particularly for samples spiked with less than 100 cells ml(-1). Altogether, at least regarding the detection of A. fumigatus, two of six laboratories showed constant reliable test results also with low fungal cell number spiked samples. Protocols used by these labs do not differ substantially from others. However, as particularities, one protocol included a conventional phenol chloroform extraction during the DNA preparation process and the other included a real time PCR-protocol based on FRET probes. Other laboratory comparisons on the basis of clinical samples should follow to further evaluate the procedures. The difficulties and problems of such trials in general are discussed.

  2. Interlaboratory comparison of PCR-based identification of Candida and Aspergillus DNA in spiked blood samples.

    PubMed

    Reichard, Utz; Buchheidt, Dieter; Lass-Flörl, Cornelia; Loeffler, Juergen; Lugert, Raimond; Ruhnke, Markus; Tintelnot, Kathrin; Weig, Michael; Groß, Uwe

    2012-09-01

    Despite PCR per se being a powerful and sensitive technique, regarding the detection of fungi in patients' blood, no consensus for a standardised PCR protocol yet exists. To complement other ongoing or accomplished studies which tackle this problem, the German Reference Center for Systemic Mycoses conducted an interlaboratory comparison starting with blood samples spiked with fungal cell elements. Altogether, six laboratories using in-house PCR-protocols from Germany and Austria participated in the trial. Blood samples were spiked with vital cells of Candida albicans or Aspergillus fumigatus. Candida was used in the yeast form, whereas Aspergillus cells were either spiked as conidia or as very young germlings, also known as smoo cells. Spiked blood samples contained between 10 and 10 000 cells ml(-1). Depending on the techniques used for fungal cell disruption and DNA-amplification, detection quality was variable between laboratories, but also differed within single laboratories in different trials particularly for samples spiked with less than 100 cells ml(-1). Altogether, at least regarding the detection of A. fumigatus, two of six laboratories showed constant reliable test results also with low fungal cell number spiked samples. Protocols used by these labs do not differ substantially from others. However, as particularities, one protocol included a conventional phenol chloroform extraction during the DNA preparation process and the other included a real time PCR-protocol based on FRET probes. Other laboratory comparisons on the basis of clinical samples should follow to further evaluate the procedures. The difficulties and problems of such trials in general are discussed. PMID:22248125

  3. Chronological aging in conidia of pathogenic Aspergillus: Comparison between species.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Manuela; Pereira, Clara; Bessa, Cláudia; Araujo, Ricardo; Saraiva, Lucília

    2015-11-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus terreus and Aspergillus niger are common airborne fungi, and the most frequent causative agents of human fungal infections. However, the resistance and lifetime persistence of these fungi in the atmosphere, and the mechanism of aging of Aspergillus conidia are unknown.With this work, we intended to study the processes underlying conidial aging of these four relevant and pathogenic Aspergillus species. Chronological aging was therefore evaluated in A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. terreus and A. niger conidia exposed to environmental and human body temperatures. The results showed that the aging process in Aspergillus conidia involves apoptosis,with metacaspase activation, DNA fragmentation, and reactive oxygen species production, associated with secondary necrosis. Distinct results were observed for the selected pathogenic species. At environmental conditions, A. niger was the species with the highest resistance to aging, indicating a higher adaption to environmental conditions, whereas A. flavus followed by A. terreus were the most sensitive species. At higher temperatures (37 °C), A. fumigatus presented the longest lifespan, in accordance with its good adaptation to the human body temperature. Altogether,with this work new insights regarding conidia aging are provided, which may be useful when designing treatments for aspergillosis.

  4. Activity of a long-acting echinocandin, CD101, determined using CLSI and EUCAST reference methods, against Candida and Aspergillus spp., including echinocandin- and azole-resistant isolates

    PubMed Central

    Pfaller, Michael A.; Messer, Shawn A.; Rhomberg, Paul R.; Jones, Ronald N.; Castanheira, Mariana

    2016-01-01

    Objectives The objective of this study was to evaluate the in vitro activity of CD101, a novel echinocandin with a long serum elimination half-life, and comparator (anidulafungin and caspofungin) antifungal agents against a collection of Candida and Aspergillus spp. isolates. Methods CD101 and comparator agents were tested against 106 Candida spp. and 67 Aspergillus spp. isolates, including 27 isolates of Candida harbouring fks hotspot mutations and 12 itraconazole non-WT Aspergillus, using CLSI and EUCAST reference susceptibility broth microdilution (BMD) methods. Results Against WT and fks mutant Candida albicans, Candida glabrata and Candida tropicalis, the activity of CD101 [MIC90 = 0.06, 0.12 and 0.03 mg/L, respectively (CLSI method values)] was comparable to that of anidulafungin (MIC90 = 0.03, 0.12 and 0.03 mg/L, respectively) and caspofungin (MIC90 = 0.12, 0.25 and 0.12 mg/L, respectively). WT Candida krusei isolates were very susceptible to CD101 (MIC = 0.06 mg/L). CD101 activity (MIC50/90 = 1/2 mg/L) was comparable to that of anidulafungin (MIC50/90 = 2/2 mg/L) against Candida parapsilosis. CD101 (MIC mode = 0.06 mg/L for C. glabrata) was 2- to 4-fold more active against fks hotspot mutants than caspofungin (MIC mode = 0.5 mg/L). CD101 was active against Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus terreus, Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus (MEC90 range = ≤0.008–0.03 mg/L). The essential agreement between CLSI and EUCAST methods for CD101 was 92.0%–100.0% among Candida spp. and 95.0%–100.0% among Aspergillus spp. Conclusions The activity of CD101 is comparable to that of other members of the echinocandin class for the prevention and treatment of serious fungal infections. Similar results for CD101 activity versus Candida and Aspergillus spp. may be obtained with either CLSI or EUCAST BMD methods. PMID:27287236

  5. Aspergillus prosthetic valve endocarditis.

    PubMed Central

    Petheram, I S; Seal, R M

    1976-01-01

    The clinical, laboratory, and histopathological features of seven cases of Aspergillus fumigatus prosthetic valve endocarditis are presented. The exact nature of the lesion, a combination of infective fungal endocarditis and thrombosis on the prosthetic valve, is discussed and the difficulties in clinical diagnosis are emphasized. Helpful indications were sudden unexplained heart failure with the appearance of new murmurs, and emboli to large or medium-sized systemic arteries. Fever and anaemia were inconstant, and in no case was blood culture or precipitin investigation helpful. Spore contamination of operating theatre air was the likely source of infection, and measures taken to overcome this and other predisposing factors are discussed. Since medical diagnosis is usually late and the few reported cures in this condition have included replacement of the prosthesis, early surgical intervention combined with antifungal chemotherapy is advised. Images PMID:788218

  6. Cryptic Sexuality Influences Aflatoxigenicity in Aspergillus parasiticus and A. flavus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ascomycetous fungi of the genus Aspergillus comprise a wide variety of species of biotechnological importance as well as pathogens and toxin producers. Recent studies report A. fumigatus to be heterothallic and possibly undergoing sexual reproduction. We therefore investigated whether compatible mat...

  7. Cryptic Sexuality in Aspergillus parasiticus and A. flavus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ascomycetous fungi of the genus Aspergillus comprise a wide variety of species of biotechnological importance (e.g. A. sojae, A. oryzae, A. niger) as well as pathogens and toxin producers (e.g. A. flavus, A. parasiticus, A. fumigatus, A. nidulans). With the exception of A. nidulans, which is a homot...

  8. [Occurrence of indole alkaloids among secondary metabolites of soil Aspergillus].

    PubMed

    Vinokurova, N G; Khmel'nitskaia, I I; Baskunov, B P; Arinbasarov, M U

    2003-01-01

    The occurrence of indole alkaloids among secondary fungal metabolites was studied in species of the genus Aspergillus, isolated from soils that were sampled in various regions of Russia (a total of 102 isolates of the species A. niger, A. phoenicis, A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. versicolor, A. ustus, A. clavatus, and A. ochraceus). Clavine alkaloids were represented by fumigaclavine, which was formed by A. fumigatus. alpha-Cyclopiazonic acid was formed by isolates of A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. versicolor, A. phoenicis, and A. clavatus. The occurrence of indole-containing diketopiperazine alkaloids was documented for isolates of A. flavus, A. fumigatus, A. clavatus, and A. ochraceus. No indole-containing metabolites were found among the metabolites of A. ustus or A. niger. PMID:12722658

  9. Lysine biosynthesis in selected pathogenic fungi: characterization of lysine auxotrophs and the cloned LYS1 gene of Candida albicans.

    PubMed Central

    Garrad, R C; Bhattacharjee, J K

    1992-01-01

    The alpha-aminoadipate pathway for the biosynthesis of lysine is present only in fungi and euglena. Until now, this unique metabolic pathway has never been investigated in the opportunistic fungal pathogens Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Aspergillus fumigatus. Five of the eight enzymes (homocitrate synthase, homoisocitrate dehydrogenase, alpha-aminoadipate reductase, saccharopine reductase, and saccharopine dehydrogenase) of the alpha-aminoadipate pathway and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, a glycolytic enzyme used as a control, were demonstrated in wild-type cells of these organisms. All enzymes were present in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the pathogenic organisms except C. neoformans 32608 serotype C, which exhibited no saccharopine reductase activity. The levels of enzyme activity varied considerably from strain to strain. Variation among organisms was also observed for the control enzyme. Among the pathogens, C. albicans exhibited much higher homocitrate synthase, homoisocitrate dehydrogenase, and alpha-aminoadipate reductase activities. Seven lysine auxotrophs of C. albicans and one of Candida tropicalis were characterized biochemically to determine the biochemical blocks and gene-enzyme relationships. Growth responses to alpha-aminoadipate- and lysine-supplemented media, accumulation of alpha-aminoadipate semialdehyde, and the lack of enzyme activity revealed that five of the mutants (WA104, WA153, WC7-1-3, WD1-31-2, and A5155) were blocked at the alpha-aminoadipate reductase step, two (STN57 and WD1-3-6) were blocked at the saccharopine dehydrogenase step, and the C. tropicalis mutant (X-16) was blocked at the saccharopine reductase step. The cloned LYS1 gene of C. albicans in the recombinant plasmid YpB1078 complemented saccharopine dehydrogenase (lys1) mutants of S. cerevisiae and C. albicans. The Lys1+ transformed strains exhibited significant saccharopine dehydrogenase activity in comparison with untransformed mutants. The cloned LYS1

  10. A study on Aspergillus species in houses of asthmatic patients from Sari City, Iran and a brief review of the health effects of exposure to indoor Aspergillus.

    PubMed

    Hedayati, Mohammad T; Mayahi, Sabah; Denning, David W

    2010-09-01

    To study the distribution of Aspergillus spp. in outdoor and indoor air of asthmatic patients' houses, as well as a review on the health effects of exposure to indoor Aspergillus. Open plates containing malt extract agar media were used to isolate fungi from the indoor (n = 360) and outdoor (n = 180) air of 90 asthmatic patients' houses living in Sari City, Iran. Plates were incubated at room temperature for 7-14 days. Cultured Aspergillus spp. were identified by standard mycological techniques. All culture plates grew fungi, a testament to the ubiquitous nature of fungal exposure. Cladosporium spp. (29.2%), Aspergillus spp. (19.0%), and Penicillium spp. (18.3%) were most common inside the houses while Cladosporium spp. (44.5%), Aspergillus spp. (12.4%), and Alternaria spp. (11.1%) were most common outside the houses. Aspergillus flavus (30.1%) and A. fumigatus (23.1%) are the most commonly isolated species in indoor air. Aspergillus flavus (44.5%) and A. fumigatus (42.6%) were the most prevalent Aspergillus spp. outside. The most colony numbers of Aspergillus were isolated from kitchens (30.4%) and the least from bedrooms (21.1%). Aspergillus flavus was the most prevalent species in all sampled rooms except in the kitchen where A. fumigatus was the most common. Aspergillus flavus is the most prevalent species among the Aspergillus spp. in the indoor and outdoor of a warm climate area. In these areas, A. flavus can be a major source of allergen in the air. Therefore, minimizing indoor fungal exposure could play an important role in reducing allergic symptoms in susceptible persons. PMID:19697147

  11. An alternative host model of a mixed fungal infection by azole susceptible and resistant Aspergillus spp strains.

    PubMed

    Alcazar-Fuoli, L; Buitrago, Mj; Gomez-Lopez, A; Mellado, E

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common mold involved in human infections. However, the number of non-fumigatus species able to cause disease is continuously increasing. Among them, Aspergillus lentulus is reported in hematological and cystic fibrosis patients and in those treated with corticosteroids. A. lentulus differs from A. fumigatus in some clinically relevant aspects such as virulence and antifungal susceptibility, showing high MICs to most antifungals. Previous studies proved that A. lentulus was pathogenic in immunocompromised mice, although the course of the infection was delayed compared to A. fumigatus. These differences could explain why A. lentulus is mostly found in mixed infections with A. fumigatus challenging the diagnosis and treatment. We used the alternative model host Galleria mellonella to compare virulence, host interaction, fungal burden and antifungal response when larvae were infected with A. fumigatus or A. lentulus alone, and with a mixture of both species. A. lentulus was pathogenic in G. mellonella but infected larvae did not respond to therapeutic doses of voriconazole. We were able to simultaneously detect A. fumigatus and A. lentulus by a multiplex Nested Real Time PCR (MN-PCR). Comparative analysis of larvae histological sections showed melanization of both species but presented a different pattern of immune response by haemocytes. Analysis of fungal burden and histology showed that A. lentulus survived in the G. mellonella despite the antifungal treatment in single and mixed infections. We conclude that the simultaneous presence of antifungal susceptible and resistant Aspergillus species would likely complicate the management of these infections.

  12. Effects of conidia of various Aspergillus species on apoptosis of human pneumocytes and bronchial epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Féménia, F; Huet, D; Lair-Fulleringer, S; Wagner, M C; Sarfati, J; Shingarova, L; Guillot, J; Boireau, P; Chermette, R; Berkova, N

    2009-05-01

    Aspergillus species can cause mycoses in human and animals. Previously, we demonstrated that A. fumigatus conidia from a human isolate inhibited apoptosis in human pneumocytes and bronchial epithelial cells. In the current study, we studied the effects of A. fumigatus conidia non-human origin and A. flavus, A. nidulans, A. niger and A. oryzae conidia on human cells apoptosis. Human pneumocytes or bronchial epithelial cells were simultaneously exposed to apoptotic inductors and aspergilli conidia. The cell cultures were analyzed by flow cytometry, immunoblotting, and examination of nuclear morphology. Similar to A. fumigatus conidia, A. flavus conidia inhibited cellular apoptosis while A. nidulans, A. niger and A. oryzae conidia did not affect apoptosis. We further studied the species specificity of conidia: there were no differences in the inhibition of apoptosis by A. fumigatus conidia from either human or bird isolates. In order to determine whether the inhibition of apoptosis by conidia is limited to certain strains, the effect on human cell apoptosis of different A. fumigatus human clinical isolates and A. fumigatus of environmental origin was evaluated. All A. fumigatus isolates inhibited apoptosis; an anti-apoptotic factor was released by conidia. For TNF-induced apoptosis, the anti-apoptotic effect of conidia of all isolates was found to be associated with a reduction of caspase-3 in human cells. The results suggest that suppression of apoptosis may play a role in reducing the efficacy of host defense mechanisms during infection with Aspergillus species. PMID:19117118

  13. Aspergillus Biofilm In Vitro and In Vivo.

    PubMed

    Beauvais, Anne; Latgé, Jean-Paul

    2015-08-01

    In vivo, Aspergillus fumigatus grows as a typical biofilm with hyphae covered by an extracellular matrix (ECM) composed of polysaccharides, galactomannan, and galactosaminogalactan. α1,3 glucans and melanin are also constitutive of the ECM in aspergilloma but not in invasive aspergillosis. In vitro, two biofilm models were established to mimic the in vivo situation. The first model (model 1) uses submerged liquid conditions and is characterized by slow growth, while the second model (model 2) uses agar medium and aerial conditions and is characterized by rapid growth. The composition of the ECM was studied only in the second model and has been shown to be composed of galactomannan, galactosaminogalactan (GAG), and α1,3 glucans, melanin, antigens, and hydrophobins. The presence of extracellular DNA was detected in model 1 biofilm but not in model 2. Transcriptomic analysis employing both biofilm models showed upregulation of genes coding for proteins involved in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, adhesion, and drug resistance. However, most data on A. fumigatus biofilms have been obtained in vitro and should be confirmed using in vivo animal models. There is a need for new therapeutic antibiofilm strategies that focus on the use of combination therapy, since biofilm formation poses an important clinical problem due to their resistance to antifungal agents. Furthermore, in vivo investigations of A. fumigatus biofilms that incorporate the associated microbiota are needed. Such studies will add another layer of complexity to our understanding of the role of A. fumigatus biofilm during lung invasion. PMID:26350307

  14. Epidemiological and Genomic Landscape of Azole Resistance Mechanisms in Aspergillus Fungi

    PubMed Central

    Hagiwara, Daisuke; Watanabe, Akira; Kamei, Katsuhiko; Goldman, Gustavo H.

    2016-01-01

    Invasive aspergillosis is a life-threatening mycosis caused by the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus. The predominant causal species is Aspergillus fumigatus, and azole drugs are the treatment of choice. Azole drugs approved for clinical use include itraconazole, voriconazole, posaconazole, and the recently added isavuconazole. However, epidemiological research has indicated that the prevalence of azole-resistant A. fumigatus isolates has increased significantly over the last decade. What is worse is that azole-resistant strains are likely to have emerged not only in response to long-term drug treatment but also because of exposure to azole fungicides in the environment. Resistance mechanisms include amino acid substitutions in the target Cyp51A protein, tandem repeat sequence insertions at the cyp51A promoter, and overexpression of the ABC transporter Cdr1B. Environmental azole-resistant strains harboring the association of a tandem repeat sequence and punctual mutation of the Cyp51A gene (TR34/L98H and TR46/Y121F/T289A) have become widely disseminated across the world within a short time period. The epidemiological data also suggests that the number of Aspergillus spp. other than A. fumigatus isolated has risen. Some non-fumigatus species intrinsically show low susceptibility to azole drugs, imposing the need for accurate identification, and drug susceptibility testing in most clinical cases. Currently, our knowledge of azole resistance mechanisms in non-fumigatus Aspergillus species such as A. flavus, A. niger, A. tubingensis, A. terreus, A. fischeri, A. lentulus, A. udagawae, and A. calidoustus is limited. In this review, we present recent advances in our understanding of azole resistance mechanisms particularly in A. fumigatus. We then provide an overview of the genome sequences of non-fumigatus species, focusing on the proteins related to azole resistance mechanisms. PMID:27708619

  15. Aspergillus surveillance project at a large tertiary-care hospital.

    PubMed

    Curtis, L; Cali, S; Conroy, L; Baker, K; Ou, C-H; Hershow, R; Norlock-Cruz, F; Scheff, P

    2005-03-01

    A one-year surveillance project was conducted at a large tertiary hospital, which had extensive indoor renovation and extensive demolition/building at several nearby sites. This study collected viable fungi samples in the hospital every six days and analysed 74 duct dust samples for Aspergillus fumigatus mycelial asp f1 protein. Mean total fungi were 257.8 cfu/m3 outdoors, 53.2 cfu/m3 in all indoor samples and 83.5 cfu/m3 in the bone marrow transplant patient rooms. Mean total aspergillus was 6.8 cfu/m3 outdoors, 12.1 cfu/m3 in all indoor samples and 7.3 cfu/m3 in the bone marrow transplant patient rooms. The five most prevalent Aspergillus species collected inside the hospital (mean cfu/m3) were Aspergillus niger 7.57 cfu/m3, Aspergillus candidus 1.72 cfu/m3, Aspergillus flavus 0.97 cfu/m3, A. fumigatus 0.88 cfu/m3 and Aspergillus glaucus 0.45 cfu/m3. In rooms undergoing duct cleaning, mean A. fumigatus concentrations were 11.0 cfu/m3. Forty-eight of 74 (65%) duct dust samples had measurable levels of asp f1 protein, with a mean level of 0.41 ppm and maximum level of 1.94 ppm. Three major incidents involved increased hospital aspergillus concentrations. A. niger levels reached 680 cfu/m3 in an organ transplant room after a water leak from a ceiling pipe. Total aspergillus concentrations rose to 77 cfu/m3 in a bone marrow transplant patient room after improper sealing and water infiltration of the unit's dedicated high-efficiency particulate air filter system. Total aspergillus levels of 160 cfu/m3 were recorded in a renovation area during wood cutting. The higher concentrations of aspergillus seen inside the hospital compared with outdoors and the various moisture/HEPA filter/renovation incidents suggest that numerous small to moderate sources of aspergillus exist in the hospital. PMID:15694975

  16. Environmental fungicides and triazole resistance in Aspergillus.

    PubMed

    Bowyer, Paul; Denning, David W

    2014-02-01

    Fungal diseases are problematic in both human health and agriculture. Treatment options are limited and resistance may emerge. The relatively recent recognition of triazole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus has prompted questioning of the origin of resistance. While multiple mechanisms are described in clinical isolates from triazole-treated patients, some de novo resistance is also recognised, especially attributable to TR34 /L98H. Such strains probably arose in the environment, and, indeed, multiple studies have now demonstrated TR(34) /L98H triazole resistance strains of A. fumigatus from soil. Docking and other in vitro studies are consistent with environmental resistance induction through exposure to certain triazole fungicides, notably difenoconazole, propiconazole, epoxiconazole, bromuconazole and tebuconazole. This article addresses the potential implications of this issue for both human health and food security.

  17. Does fungicide application in vineyards induce resistance to medical azoles in Aspergillus species?

    PubMed

    Lago, Magali; Aguiar, Ana; Natário, André; Fernandes, Carla; Faria, Miguel; Pinto, Eugénia

    2014-09-01

    This study assessed if the use of sterol demethylase inhibitor fungicides in vineyard production can induce resistance to azoles in Aspergillus strains and if it can induce selection of resistant species. We also tried to identify the Aspergillus species most prevalent in the vineyards. Two vineyards from northern Portugal were selected from "Vinhos Verdes" and "Douro" regions. The vineyards were divided into plots that were treated or not with penconazole (PEN). In each vineyard, air, soil, and plant samples were collected at three different times. The strains of Aspergillus spp. were isolated and identified by morphological and molecular techniques. We identified 46 Aspergillus section Nigri, eight Aspergillus fumigatus, seven Aspergillus lentulus, four Aspergillus wentii, two Aspergillus flavus, two Aspergillus terreus, one Aspergillus calidoustus, one Aspergillus westerdijkiae, one Aspergillus tamarii, and one Eurotium amstelodami. Aspergillus strains were evaluated for their susceptibility to medical azoles used in human therapy (itraconazole, posaconazole, and voriconazole) and to agricultural azoles (PEN) used in the prevention and treatment of plant diseases. The isolates showed moderate susceptibility to voriconazole. We did not observe any decrease of susceptibility to the medical azoles tested throughout the testing period in any of the treated plots, although some of the resistant species were isolated from there.

  18. Abundant Respirable Ergot Alkaloids from the Common Airborne Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus†

    PubMed Central

    Panaccione, Daniel G.; Coyle, Christine M.

    2005-01-01

    Ergot alkaloids are mycotoxins that interact with several monoamine receptors, negatively affecting cardiovascular, nervous, reproductive, and immune systems of exposed humans and animals. Aspergillus fumigatus, a common airborne fungus and opportunistic human pathogen, can produce ergot alkaloids in broth culture. The objectives of this study were to determine if A. fumigatus accumulates ergot alkaloids in a respirable form in or on its conidia, to quantify ergot alkaloids associated with conidia produced on several different substrates, and to measure relevant physical properties of the conidia. We found at least four ergot alkaloids, fumigaclavine C, festuclavine, fumigaclavine A, and fumigaclavine B (in order of abundance), associated with conidia of A. fumigatus. Under environmentally relevant conditions, the total mass of ergot alkaloids often constituted >1% of the mass of the conidium. Ergot alkaloids were extracted from conidia produced on all media tested, and the greatest quantities were observed when the fungus was cultured on latex paint or cultured maize seedlings. The values for physical properties of conidia likely to affect their respirability (i.e., diameter, mass, and specific gravity) were significantly lower for A. fumigatus than for Aspergillus nidulans, Aspergillus niger, and Stachybotrys chartarum. The demonstration of relatively high concentrations of ergot alkaloids associated with conidia of A. fumigatus presents opportunities for investigations of potential contributions of the toxins to adverse health effects associated with the fungus and to aspects of the biology of the fungus that contribute to its success. PMID:15933008

  19. Septic arthritis due to tubercular and Aspergillus co-infection.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Mukesh; Thilak, Jai; Zahoor, Adnan; Jyothi, Arun

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus septic arthritis is a rare and serious medical and surgical problem. It occurs mainly in immunocompromised patients. Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common causative organism followed by Aspergillus flavus. The most common site affected is knee followed by shoulder, ankle, wrist, hip and sacroiliac joint. Debridement and voriconazole are primary treatment of articular aspergilosis. To the best of our knowledge, there are no reported cases of co-infection of tuberculosis (TB) and Aspergillus infecting joints. We report a case of co-infection of TB and A. flavus of hip and knee of a 60-year-old male, with type 2 diabetes mellitus. He was treated with debridement, intravenous voriconazole, and antitubercular drugs.

  20. Melanin dependent survival of Apergillus fumigatus conidia in lung epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Amin, Shayista; Thywissen, Andreas; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Saluz, Hans Peter; Brakhage, Axel A

    2014-07-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important air-borne pathogenic fungus of humans. Upon inhalation of conidia, the fungus makes close contact with lung epithelial cells, which only possess low phagocytic activity. These cells are in particular interesting to address the question whether there is some form of persistence of conidia of A. fumigatus in the human host. Therefore, by also using uracil-auxotrophic mutant strains, we were able to investigate the interaction of A549 lung epithelial cells and A. fumigatus conidia in detail for long periods. Interestingly, unlike professional phagocytes, our study showed that the presence of conidial dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin enhanced the uptake of A. fumigatus conidia by epithelial cells when compared with non-pigmented pksP mutant conidia. Furthermore, conidia of A. fumigatus were able to survive within epithelial cells. This was due to the presence of DHN melanin in the cell wall of conidia, because melanised wild-type conidia showed a higher survival rate inside epithelial cells and led to inhibition of acidification of phagolysosomes. Both effects were not observed for white (non-melanised) conidia of the pksP mutant strain. Moreover, in contrast to pksP mutant conidia, melanised wild-type conidia were able to inhibit the extrinsic apoptotic pathway in A549 lung epithelial cells even for longer periods. The anti-apoptotic effect was not restricted to conidia, because both conidia-derived melanin ghosts (cell-free DHN melanin) and a different type of melanin, dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) melanin, acted anti-apoptotically. Taken together, these data indicate the possibility of melanin-dependent persistence of conidia in lung epithelial cells.

  1. Nationwide Surveillance of Azole Resistance in Aspergillus Diseases.

    PubMed

    Vermeulen, Edith; Maertens, Johan; De Bel, Annelies; Nulens, Eric; Boelens, Jerina; Surmont, Ignace; Mertens, Anna; Boel, An; Lagrou, Katrien

    2015-08-01

    Aspergillus disease affects a broad patient population, from patients with asthma to immunocompromised patients. Azole resistance has been increasingly reported in both clinical and environmental Aspergillus strains. The prevalence and clinical impact of azole resistance in different patient populations are currently unclear. This 1-year prospective multicenter cohort study aimed to provide detailed epidemiological data on Aspergillus resistance among patients with Aspergillus disease in Belgium. Isolates were prospectively collected in 18 hospitals (April 2011 to April 2012) for susceptibility testing. Clinical and treatment data were collected with a questionnaire. The outcome was evaluated to 1 year after a patient's inclusion. A total of 220 Aspergillus isolates from 182 patients were included. The underlying conditions included invasive aspergillosis (n = 122 patients), allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (APBA) (n = 39 patients), chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (n = 10 patients), Aspergillus bronchitis (n = 7 patients), and aspergilloma (n = 5 patients). The overall azole resistance prevalence was 5.5% (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.8 to 10.2%) and was 7.0% (4/57; 95% CI, 2.3 to 17.2%) in patients with APBA, bronchitis, aspergilloma, or chronic aspergillosis and 4.6% in patients with invasive aspergillosis (5/108; 95% CI, 1.7 to 10.7%). The 6-week survival in invasive aspergillosis was 52.5%, while susceptibility testing revealed azole resistance in only 2/58 of the deceased patients. The clinical impact of Aspergillus fumigatus resistance was limited in our patient population with Aspergillus diseases.

  2. Competitive binding inhibition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay that uses the secreted aspartyl proteinase of Candida albicans as an antigenic marker for diagnosis of disseminated candidiasis.

    PubMed

    Morrison, Christine J; Hurst, Steven F; Reiss, Errol

    2003-09-01

    The secreted aspartyl proteinases (Saps) of Candida albicans have been implicated as virulence factors associated with adherence and tissue invasion. The potential use of proteinases as markers of invasive candidiasis led us to develop a competitive binding inhibition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect Sap in clinical specimens. Daily serum and urine specimens were collected from rabbits that had been immunosuppressed with cyclophosphamide and cortisone acetate and infected intravenously with 10(7) C. albicans blastoconidia. Disseminated infection was confirmed by organ culture and histopathology. Although ELISA inhibition was observed when serum specimens from these rabbits were used, more significant inhibition, which correlated with disease progression, occurred when urine specimens were used. Urine collected as early as 1 day after infection resulted in significant ELISA inhibition (mean inhibition +/- standard error [SE] compared with preinfection control urine, 15.7% +/- 2.7% [P < 0.01]), and inhibition increased on days 2 through 5 (29.4% +/- 4.8% to 44.5% +/- 3.5% [P < 0.001]). Urine specimens from immunosuppressed rabbits infected intravenously with Candida tropicalis, Candida parapsilosis, Candida krusei, Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus fumigatus, or Staphylococcus aureus were negative in the assay despite culture-proven dissemination. Nonimmunosuppressed rabbits receiving oral tetracycline and gentamicin treatment were given 2 x 10(8) C. albicans blastoconidia orally or intraurethrally to establish colonization of the gastrointestinal tract or bladder, respectively, without systemic dissemination; urine specimens from these rabbits also gave negative ELISA results. Dissemination to the kidney and spleen occurred in one rabbit challenged by intragastric inoculation, and urine from this rabbit demonstrated significant inhibition in the ELISA (mean inhibition +/- SE by day 3 after infection, 32.9% +/- 2.7% [P < 0.001]). The overall

  3. Induction of A. fumigatus-specific CD4-positive T cells in patients recovering from invasive aspergillosis.

    PubMed

    Jolink, Hetty; Hagedoorn, Renate S; Lagendijk, Ellen L; Drijfhout, Jan W; van Dissel, Jaap T; Falkenburg, J H Frederik; Heemskerk, Mirjam H M

    2014-07-01

    After allogeneic stem cell transplantation patients are at risk of invasive aspergillosis, especially during the period of neutropenia. Recent data suggest that impaired T-cell immune reconstitution after transplantation plays an important role in this increased risk. In this study we investigated whether Aspergillus-specific T cells are involved in the recovery from invasive aspergillosis by analyzing the Aspergillus-specific T-cell response in patients with invasive aspergillosis. In nine patients whose Aspergillus infection improved, we identified Crf1- or Catalase1-specific T cells on the basis of CD154 expression and interferon-γ production following stimulation with overlapping peptides of the A. fumigatus proteins Crf1 and Catalase1. These Aspergillus-specific T cells were induced at the moment of regression of the aspergillus lesions. Crf1- and Catalase1-specific T cells, sorted on the basis of CD154 expression at the peak of the immune response, had a T helper-1 phenotype and recognized a variety of T-cell epitopes. In contrast, in two patients with progressive invasive aspergillosis, no Crf1- or Catalase1-specific T cells were identified. These data indicate that the presence of Aspergillus-specific T cells with a T helper-1 phenotype correlates with the clearance of aspergillus infection. PMID:24747947

  4. Induction of A. fumigatus-specific CD4-positive T cells in patients recovering from invasive aspergillosis

    PubMed Central

    Jolink, Hetty; Hagedoorn, Renate S.; Lagendijk, Ellen L.; Drijfhout, Jan W.; van Dissel, Jaap T.; Falkenburg, J.H. Frederik; Heemskerk, Mirjam H.M.

    2014-01-01

    After allogeneic stem cell transplantation patients are at risk of invasive aspergillosis, especially during the period of neutropenia. Recent data suggest that impaired T-cell immune reconstitution after transplantation plays an important role in this increased risk. In this study we investigated whether Aspergillus-specific T cells are involved in the recovery from invasive aspergillosis by analyzing the Aspergillus-specific T-cell response in patients with invasive aspergillosis. In nine patients whose Aspergillus infection improved, we identified Crf1- or Catalase1-specific T cells on the basis of CD154 expression and interferon-γ production following stimulation with overlapping peptides of the A. fumigatus proteins Crf1 and Catalase1. These Aspergillus-specific T cells were induced at the moment of regression of the aspergillus lesions. Crf1- and Catalase1-specific T cells, sorted on the basis of CD154 expression at the peak of the immune response, had a T helper-1 phenotype and recognized a variety of T-cell epitopes. In contrast, in two patients with progressive invasive aspergillosis, no Crf1- or Catalase1-specific T cells were identified. These data indicate that the presence of Aspergillus-specific T cells with a T helper-1 phenotype correlates with the clearance of aspergillus infection. PMID:24747947

  5. Isolation and identification of Aspergillus section fumigati strains from arable soil in Korea.

    PubMed

    Hong, Seung-Beom; Kim, Dae-Ho; Park, In-Cheol; Samson, Robert A; Shin, Hyeon-Dong

    2010-03-01

    63 strains of Aspergillus section Fumigati were isolated from 17 samples of arable soil in a central province of Korea. Based on the results of genotypic and phenotypic analyses, they were identified as Aspergillus fumigatus, A. lentulus, Neosartorya coreana, N. fennelliae, N. fischeri, N. glabra, N. hiratsukae, N. laciniosa, N. pseudofischeri, N. quadricincta, N. spinosa and N. udagawae. Among these, N. fennelliae, N. hiratsukae, N. quadricincta, and N. udagawae had not been previously recorded in Korea. The diversity of Aspergillus section Fumigati species from arable soil in Korea is also addressed.

  6. [Isolation of several species of the genus Aspergillus from soil of intrahospital ornamental plants].

    PubMed

    Thompson, L; Castrillón, M A; Delgado, M; García, M

    1994-12-01

    The earth of ornamental plants is one of the main reservoirs of Aspergillus type of fungi in hospital areas. We studied 174 ornamental interior plants from a hospital at Santiago. Samples were obtained from the soil surface and sowed in Sabouraud-glucose agar, adding streptomycin and G-penicillin. After 72 h of culture, at least one strain of Aspergillus was isolated from 140 samples (80.5%). The most frequently isolated strain was A fumigatus (129 samples), followed by A niger (75 samples). A fumigatus and A niger were the only isolated strains in 65 and 11 samples respectively. These findings confirm that ornamental plants can be important reservoirs of Aspergillus strains, a potential infectious agent for immunocompromised patients, in hospital areas. PMID:7659910

  7. Purification and physico-chemical characterisation of genetically modified phytases expressed in Aspergillus awamori.

    PubMed

    Martin, Judith A; Murphy, Richard A; Power, Ronan F G

    2006-09-01

    Two heterologous phytases from Aspergillus awamori and Aspergillus fumigatus obtained from submerged cultures of genetically modified fungal strains in addition to two commercially available phytase preparations (Allzyme and Natuphos phytases) were purified to homogeneity using a combination of ultrafiltration, gel filtration and ion exchange. The purified preparations were used in subsequent characterisation studies, in which Western Immunoblot analysis, pH and temperature optima, thermal stability and substrate specificity were assessed. A. fumigatus phyA phytase expressed in A. awamori exhibited activity over a broad pH range together with an increased temperature optimum, and slightly enhanced thermal stability compared to the other phytases tested, and is thus a promising candidate for animal feed applications. This particular phytase retains activity over a wide range of pH values characteristic of the digestive tract and could conceivably be more suited to the increasingly higher feed processing temperatures being utilised today, than the corresponding phytases from Aspergillus niger. PMID:16243522

  8. PCR-RFLP on β-tubulin gene for rapid identification of the most clinically important species of Aspergillus.

    PubMed

    Nasri, Tuba; Hedayati, Mohammad Taghi; Abastabar, Mahdi; Pasqualotto, Alessandro C; Armaki, Mojtaba Taghizadeh; Hoseinnejad, Akbar; Nabili, Mojtaba

    2015-10-01

    Aspergillus species are important agents of life-threatening infections in immunosuppressed patients. Proper speciation in the Aspergilli has been justified based on varied fungal virulence, clinical presentations, and antifungal resistance. Accurate identification of Aspergillus species usually relies on fungal DNA sequencing but this requires expensive equipment that is not available in most clinical laboratories. We developed and validated a discriminative low-cost PCR-based test to discriminate Aspergillus isolates at the species level. The Beta tubulin gene of various reference strains of Aspergillus species was amplified using the universal fungal primers Bt2a and Bt2b. The PCR products were subjected to digestion with a single restriction enzyme AlwI. All Aspergillus isolates were subjected to DNA sequencing for final species characterization. The PCR-RFLP test generated unique patterns for six clinically important Aspergillus species, including Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus nidulans, Aspergillus terreus, Aspergillus clavatus and Aspergillus nidulans. The one-enzyme PCR-RFLP on Beta tubulin gene designed in this study is a low-cost tool for the reliable and rapid differentiation of the clinically important Aspergillus species.

  9. Isolation and identification of Aspergillus spp. from brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) nocturnal houses in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Glare, Travis R; Gartrell, Brett D; Brookes, Jenny J; Perrott, John K

    2014-03-01

    Aspergillosis, a disease caused by infection with Aspergillus spp., is a common cause of death in birds globally and is an irregular cause of mortality of captive kiwi (Apteryx spp.). Aspergillus spp. are often present in rotting plant material, including the litter and nesting material used for kiwi in captivity. The aim of this study was to survey nocturnal kiwi houses in New Zealand to assess the levels of Aspergillus currently present in leaf litter. Samples were received from 11 nocturnal kiwi houses from throughout New Zealand, with one site supplying multiple samples over time. Aspergillus was isolated and quantified by colony counts from litter samples using selective media and incubation temperatures. Isolates were identified to the species level by amplification and sequencing of ITS regions of the ribosomal. Aspergillus spp. were recovered from almost every sample; however, the levels in most kiwi houses were below 1000 colony-forming units (CFU)/g of wet material. The predominant species was Aspergillus fumigatus, with rare occurrences of Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus nidulans, and Aspergillus parasiticus. Only one site had no detectable Aspergillus. The limit of detection was around 50 CFU/g wet material. One site was repeatedly sampled as it had a high loading of A. fumigatus at the start of the survey and had two recent clinical cases of aspergillosis diagnosed in resident kiwi. Environmental loading at this site with Aspergillus spp. reduced but was not eliminated despite changes of the litter. The key finding of our study is that the background levels of Aspergillus spores in kiwi nocturnal houses in New Zealand are low, but occasional exceptions occur and are associated with the onset of aspergillosis in otherwise healthy birds. The predominant Aspergillus species present in the leaf litter was A. fumigatus, but other species were also present. Further research is needed to confirm the optimal management of leaf litter to minimize Aspergillus

  10. Isolation and identification of Aspergillus spp. from brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) nocturnal houses in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Glare, Travis R; Gartrell, Brett D; Brookes, Jenny J; Perrott, John K

    2014-03-01

    Aspergillosis, a disease caused by infection with Aspergillus spp., is a common cause of death in birds globally and is an irregular cause of mortality of captive kiwi (Apteryx spp.). Aspergillus spp. are often present in rotting plant material, including the litter and nesting material used for kiwi in captivity. The aim of this study was to survey nocturnal kiwi houses in New Zealand to assess the levels of Aspergillus currently present in leaf litter. Samples were received from 11 nocturnal kiwi houses from throughout New Zealand, with one site supplying multiple samples over time. Aspergillus was isolated and quantified by colony counts from litter samples using selective media and incubation temperatures. Isolates were identified to the species level by amplification and sequencing of ITS regions of the ribosomal. Aspergillus spp. were recovered from almost every sample; however, the levels in most kiwi houses were below 1000 colony-forming units (CFU)/g of wet material. The predominant species was Aspergillus fumigatus, with rare occurrences of Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus nidulans, and Aspergillus parasiticus. Only one site had no detectable Aspergillus. The limit of detection was around 50 CFU/g wet material. One site was repeatedly sampled as it had a high loading of A. fumigatus at the start of the survey and had two recent clinical cases of aspergillosis diagnosed in resident kiwi. Environmental loading at this site with Aspergillus spp. reduced but was not eliminated despite changes of the litter. The key finding of our study is that the background levels of Aspergillus spores in kiwi nocturnal houses in New Zealand are low, but occasional exceptions occur and are associated with the onset of aspergillosis in otherwise healthy birds. The predominant Aspergillus species present in the leaf litter was A. fumigatus, but other species were also present. Further research is needed to confirm the optimal management of leaf litter to minimize Aspergillus

  11. Negative regulation and developmental competence in Aspergillus

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Mi-Kyung; Kwon, Nak-Jung; Lee, Im-Soon; Jung, Seunho; Kim, Sun-Chang; Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    2016-01-01

    Asexual development (conidiation) in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans is governed by orchestrated gene expression. The three key negative regulators of conidiation SfgA, VosA, and NsdD act at different control point in the developmental genetic cascade. Here, we have revealed that NsdD is a key repressor affecting the quantity of asexual spores in Aspergillus. Moreover, nullifying both nsdD and vosA results in abundant formation of the development specific structure conidiophores even at 12 h of liquid culture, and near constitutive activation of conidiation, indicating that acquisition of developmental competence involves the removal of negative regulation exerted by both NsdD and VosA. NsdD’s role in repressing conidiation is conserved in other aspergilli, as deleting nsdD causes enhanced and precocious activation of conidiation in Aspergillus fumigatus or Aspergillus flavus. In vivo NsdD-DNA interaction analyses identify three NsdD binding regions in the promoter of the essential activator of conidiation brlA, indicating a direct repressive role of NsdD in conidiation. Importantly, loss of flbC or flbD encoding upstream activators of brlA in the absence of nsdD results in delayed activation of brlA, suggesting distinct positive roles of FlbC and FlbD in conidiation. A genetic model depicting regulation of conidiation in A. nidulans is presented. PMID:27364479

  12. How does the phylogenetic species concept correlate with biological characteristics of the pathogenic species in Aspergillus section Fumigati?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phylogenetic analysis confirmed A. fumigatus, A. lentulus, and A. viridinutans are phylogenetically distinct and also showed that the Aspergillus unsp. isolates form an independent clade, apart from the other three Aspergilli. All isolates were able to grow at temperatures ranging from 25 to 42oC ex...

  13. Molecular identification of Aspergillus and Eurotium species isolated from rice and their toxin-producing ability.

    PubMed

    Yazdani, D; Zainal Abidin, M A; Tan, Y H; Kamaruzaman, S

    2011-01-01

    Thirty milled rice samples were collected from retailers in 4 provinces of Malaysia. These samples were evaluated for Aspergillus spp. infection by direct plating on malt extract salt agar (MESA). All Aspergillus holomorphs were isolated and identified using nucleotide sequences of ITS 1 and ITS 2 of rDNA. Five anamorphs (Aspergillus flavus, A. oryzae, A. tamarii, A. fumigatus and A. niger) and 5 teleomorphs (Eurotium rubrum, E. amstelodami, E. chevalieri, E. cristatum and E. tonophilum) were identified. The PCR-sequencing based technique for sequences of ITS 1 and ITS 2 is a fast technique for identification of Aspergillus and Eurotium species, although it doesn't work flawlessly for differentiation of Eurotium species. All Aspergillus and Eurotium isolates were screened for their ability to produce aflatoxin and ochratoxin A (OTA) by HPLC and TLC techniques. Only A. flavus isolate UPM 89 was able to produce aflatoxins B1 and B2. PMID:22168015

  14. Metabolomics Analysis Reveals Specific Novel Tetrapeptide and Potential Anti-Inflammatory Metabolites in Pathogenic Aspergillus species.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kim-Chung; Tam, Emily W T; Lo, Ka-Ching; Tsang, Alan K L; Lau, Candy C Y; To, Kelvin K W; Chan, Jasper F W; Lam, Ching-Wan; Yuen, Kwok-Yung; Lau, Susanna K P; Woo, Patrick C Y

    2015-01-01

    Infections related to Aspergillus species have emerged to become an important focus in infectious diseases, as a result of the increasing use of immunosuppressive agents and high fatality associated with invasive aspergillosis. However, laboratory diagnosis of Aspergillus infections remains difficult. In this study, by comparing the metabolomic profiles of the culture supernatants of 30 strains of six pathogenic Aspergillus species (A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. niger, A. terreus, A. nomius and A. tamarii) and 31 strains of 10 non-Aspergillus fungi, eight compounds present in all strains of the six Aspergillus species but not in any strain of the non-Aspergillus fungi were observed. One of the eight compounds, Leu-Glu-Leu-Glu, is a novel tetrapeptide and represents the first linear tetrapeptide observed in Aspergillus species, which we propose to be named aspergitide. Two other closely related Aspergillus-specific compounds, hydroxy-(sulfooxy)benzoic acid and (sulfooxy)benzoic acid, may possess anti-inflammatory properties, as 2-(sulfooxy)benzoic acid possesses a structure similar to those of aspirin [2-(acetoxy)benzoic acid] and salicylic acid (2-hydroxybenzoic acid). Further studies to examine the potentials of these Aspergillus-specific compounds for laboratory diagnosis of aspergillosis are warranted and further experiments will reveal whether Leu-Glu-Leu-Glu, hydroxy-(sulfooxy)benzoic acid and (sulfooxy)benzoic acid are virulent factors of the pathogenic Aspergillus species. PMID:26090713

  15. Metabolomics Analysis Reveals Specific Novel Tetrapeptide and Potential Anti-Inflammatory Metabolites in Pathogenic Aspergillus species.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kim-Chung; Tam, Emily W T; Lo, Ka-Ching; Tsang, Alan K L; Lau, Candy C Y; To, Kelvin K W; Chan, Jasper F W; Lam, Ching-Wan; Yuen, Kwok-Yung; Lau, Susanna K P; Woo, Patrick C Y

    2015-06-17

    Infections related to Aspergillus species have emerged to become an important focus in infectious diseases, as a result of the increasing use of immunosuppressive agents and high fatality associated with invasive aspergillosis. However, laboratory diagnosis of Aspergillus infections remains difficult. In this study, by comparing the metabolomic profiles of the culture supernatants of 30 strains of six pathogenic Aspergillus species (A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. niger, A. terreus, A. nomius and A. tamarii) and 31 strains of 10 non-Aspergillus fungi, eight compounds present in all strains of the six Aspergillus species but not in any strain of the non-Aspergillus fungi were observed. One of the eight compounds, Leu-Glu-Leu-Glu, is a novel tetrapeptide and represents the first linear tetrapeptide observed in Aspergillus species, which we propose to be named aspergitide. Two other closely related Aspergillus-specific compounds, hydroxy-(sulfooxy)benzoic acid and (sulfooxy)benzoic acid, may possess anti-inflammatory properties, as 2-(sulfooxy)benzoic acid possesses a structure similar to those of aspirin [2-(acetoxy)benzoic acid] and salicylic acid (2-hydroxybenzoic acid). Further studies to examine the potentials of these Aspergillus-specific compounds for laboratory diagnosis of aspergillosis are warranted and further experiments will reveal whether Leu-Glu-Leu-Glu, hydroxy-(sulfooxy)benzoic acid and (sulfooxy)benzoic acid are virulent factors of the pathogenic Aspergillus species.

  16. Aspergillus flavus contamination in two Portuguese wastewater treatment plants.

    PubMed

    Viegas, C; Dias, R; Gomes, A Quintal; Meneses, M; Sabino, R; Viegas, S

    2014-01-01

    Filamentous fungi from genus Aspergillus were previously detected in wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) as being Aspergillus flavus (A. flavus), an important toxigenic fungus producing aflatoxins. This study aimed to determine occupational exposure adverse effects due to fungal contamination produced by A. flavus complex in two Portuguese WWTP using conventional and molecular methodologies. Air samples from two WWTP were collected at 1 m height through impaction method. Surface samples were collected by swabbing surfaces of the same indoor sites. After counting A. flavus and identification, detection of aflatoxin production was ensured through inoculation of seven inoculates in coconut-milk agar. Plates were examined under long-wave ultraviolet (UV; 365 nm) illumination to search for the presence of fluorescence in the growing colonies. To apply molecular methods, air samples were also collected using the impinger method. Samples were collected and collection liquid was subsequently used for DNA extraction. Molecular identification of A. flavus was achieved by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using the Rotor-Gene 6000 qPCR detection system (Corbett). Among the Aspergillus genus, the species that were more abundant in air samples from both WWTP were Aspergillus versicolor (38%), Aspergillus candidus (29.1%), and Aspergillus sydowii (12.7%). However, the most commonly species found on surfaces were A. flavus (47.3%), Aspergillus fumigatus (34.4%), and Aspergillus sydowii (10.8%). Aspergillus flavus isolates that were inoculated in coconut agar medium were not identified as toxigenic strains and were not detected by RT-PCR in any of the analyzed samples from both plants. Data in this study indicate the need for monitoring fungal contamination in this setting. Although toxigenic strains were not detected from A. flavus complex, one cannot disregard the eventual presence and potential toxicity of aflatoxins. PMID:25072712

  17. Monitoring environmental Aspergillus spp. contamination and meteorological factors in a haematological unit.

    PubMed

    Cavallo, M; Andreoni, S; Martinotti, M G; Rinaldi, M; Fracchia, L

    2013-12-01

    The opportunistic pathogens belonging to the Aspergillus genus are present in almost all seasons of the year, and their concentration is related to meteorological conditions. The high density of Aspergillus spp. conidia in a haematological hospital ward may be a significant risk factor for developing invasive fungal diseases in immunocompromised patients. Aim of the present study was to evaluate the variability of airborne Aspergillus spp. conidia contamination in a Haematological Unit (HU) within a period of 16 months in relation with some meteorological parameters. An environmental Aspergillus surveillance was conducted in the HU in four rooms and their bathrooms, in the corridor and in three external sites using an agar impact sampler. During each sampling, temperature and relative humidity at each site were recorded and current wind speed and rainfall events were taken from the official weather service. Aspergillus spp. conidia concentration differed significantly across the sampling sites. Internal Aspergillus spp. loads were significantly dependent on temperature, internal relative humidity and rain. External conidia concentrations were significantly influenced by outdoor temperature and relative humidity. A suitable indicator was introduced to evaluate the seasonal distribution of Aspergillus spp. conidia in the sampling sites, and a significant dependence on this indicator was observed inside the HU. Seventeen different fungal species belonging to the Aspergillus genus were detected during the sampling period. Aspergillus fumigatus was the most frequently isolated species and its distribution depended significantly on the seasonal indicator both inside and outside the hospital ward.

  18. The distribution of Aspergillus spp. opportunistic parasites in hives and their pathogenicity to honey bees.

    PubMed

    Foley, Kirsten; Fazio, Géraldine; Jensen, Annette B; Hughes, William O H

    2014-03-14

    Stonebrood is a disease of honey bee larvae caused by fungi from the genus Aspergillus. As very few studies have focused on the epidemiological aspects of stonebrood and diseased brood may be rapidly discarded by worker bees, it is possible that a high number of cases go undetected. Aspergillus spp. fungi are ubiquitous and associated with disease in many insects, plants, animals and man. They are regarded as opportunistic pathogens that require immunocompromised hosts to establish infection. Microbiological studies have shown high prevalences of Aspergillus spp. in apiaries which occur saprophytically on hive substrates. However, the specific conditions required for pathogenicity to develop remain unknown. In this study, an apiary was screened to determine the prevalence and diversity of Aspergillus spp. fungi. A series of dose-response tests were then conducted using laboratory reared larvae to determine the pathogenicity and virulence of frequently occurring isolates. The susceptibility of adult worker bees to Aspergillus flavus was also tested. Three isolates (A. flavus, Aspergillus nomius and Aspergillus phoenicis) of the ten species identified were pathogenic to honey bee larvae. Moreover, adult honey bees were also confirmed to be highly susceptible to A. flavus infection when they ingested conidia. Neither of the two Aspergillus fumigatus strains used in dose-response tests induced mortality in larvae and were the least pathogenic of the isolates tested. These results confirm the ubiquity of Aspergillus spp. in the apiary environment and highlight their potential to infect both larvae and adult bees.

  19. Biosynthesis and Characterization of Silver Nanoparticles by Aspergillus Species.

    PubMed

    Zomorodian, Kamiar; Pourshahid, Seyedmohammad; Sadatsharifi, Arman; Mehryar, Pouyan; Pakshir, Keyvan; Rahimi, Mohammad Javad; Arabi Monfared, Ali

    2016-01-01

    Currently, researchers turn to natural processes such as using biological microorganisms in order to develop reliable and ecofriendly methods for the synthesis of metallic nanoparticles. In this study, we have investigated extracellular biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles using four Aspergillus species including A. fumigatus, A. clavatus, A. niger, and A. flavus. We have also analyzed nitrate reductase activity in the studied species in order to determine the probable role of this enzyme in the biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles. The formation of silver nanoparticles in the cell filtrates was confirmed by the passage of laser light, change in the color of cell filtrates, absorption peak at 430 nm in UV-Vis spectra, and atomic force microscopy (AFM). There was a logic